The global automotive industry is going to have a green car revolution very soon; as governments are making sure that the automakers offer more green cars and less polluting ones. In the battle of who can offer most green car models in the market, the electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as the most favoured cars, as they are the most practical and cost efficient green cars at present. Even Toyota, the hybrid car pioneer, which was against the EVs and always favoured the fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) as the ultimate green cars, is also following the EV path due to peer pressure. Nevertheless, the Japanese auto majors are still supporting the fact that the Hydrogen powered FCVs are the superior green vehicles that the world needs.
The Japanese auto giants, namely - Toyota, Honda and Nissan are all in favour of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and are joining hands with eight industrial firms to establish hydrogen re-fuelling infrastructure in Japan. The conglomerate association wants to built 80 hydrogen re-fuelling stations within the first four years of their partnership. The partnership itself is expected to last for about ten years, and start operations by March 2018. This association’s plan is to nearly double the number of the existing 91 hydrogen fuelling pumps in Japan.
The Japanese car manufacturing companies have been making huge progress in the development of highly fascinating hydrogen fuel-cell cars in the recent times. Toyota leads the pack of course, and launched the Toyota Mirai in late 2014, which is the first FCV in the mass-market. Nissan has announced that the company will be developing fuel-cell technology by using plant-based ethanol. On the other hand Honda is one of the first manufacturers to have produced an FCV, which is the Honda Clarity. And the ongoing Honda Clarity lineup won the Green Car of The Year Award for great innovation at the 2017 LA Auto Show.
The primary hindrance in the path of mass adoption of the hydrogen fuel cell cars is expensive pricing, as the car makers have yet not been able to reduce the development costs of the FCVs substantially. The other major issue is the lack of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure. For instance, the Toyota Mirai costs 6.7 million yen ($59,000) that is almost double the amount one would pay for a comparable electric vehicle. Thus, the automakers are now joining hands not only to build the FCVs together to lower production costs, but also to establish hydrogen stations, which is also an expensive matter.
The mentioned partnership is looking to bring down the costs involved in building the hydrogen fuelling stations. This should also reinforce their aim to push to loosen the regulations around the technology. This large conglomerate association involves Tokyo Gas, gas maker Iwatani, oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan and Development Bank of Japan, and these large organizations are going to work together push the growth of the FCVs in Japan. The Japanese government set a goal in 2016 to increase the number of the hydrogen driven cars to 40,000 by March 2021, and this partnership could play a crucial role to meet this target.