Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor and Honda Motor have teamed with the Japanese government to work together to accelerate the development of hydrogen refueling station infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles. Although specific involvement and measures have not been determined, the plan is part of the Japanese government's push to improve infrastructure and encourage adoption of these zero-tailpipe emission vehicles.
For hydrogen-fueled electric vehicles to gain popularity, they must both be available and have a refueling infrastructure to support them. Towards that latter goal, the consortium is building a Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, first begun in June of last year. The Japanese government has been offering subsidies for station installation and policies aimed towards encouraging the conversion or building of stations as well as the transportation of hydrogen to them.
The carmakers, meanwhile, are hoping to popularize hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which are electric cars in which hydrogen is combined with oxygen to create electricity to propel the vehicle. Their involvement, though not specified in detail, will include aiding infrastructure companies and underwriting hydrogen stations to encourage their operation until enough vehicles are on the roads to sustain their operations.
Japan expects FCVs to play a central role in their envisioned "hydrogen society."