Though hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are currently being sold around the globe, the sales numbers of Hydrogen fuel-cell cars are still quite small, due in part to the lack of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Seeking to address this problem, companies around the world are stepping up to invest in hydrogen fuel technology.
January of this year saw the creation of the Hydrogen Council, a collaboration by 13 companies around the globe, to promote and discuss the utilization of hydrogen as a renewable energy source.
Recently, GM and Honda collaborated in the US to create a Michigan-based production plant that will produce the next generation of propulsion systems for Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Now a collaboration of 11 different Japanese companies will address the lack of infrastructure in their own country, through a consortium aimed at expanding the fuel-cell market within Japan.
The consortium stems from the “Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” created by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and it is aiming to create another 160 hydrogen fuel stations throughout the country by the year 2020. In addition, the consortium also hopes to have 40,000 more hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on Japan’s roads by the end of the same year.
The 11 companies involved in the agreement include automotive companies Honda, Toyota, and Nissan, as well as JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, Idemitsu Kosan, Toho Gas, Tokyo Gas, Development Bank of Japan, Air Liquide Japan, Iwatani Corporation, and Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
A new company will be created through the joint venture sometime this year, which will supervise the installation and maintenance of the new hydrogen fuel stations. As the hydrogen fuel cell initiative takes off, more companies are expected to join the endeavor.
Meanwhile, the Hydrogen Council plans to invest more than $1 billion dollars a year into the development of hydrogen fuel-cell infrastructure and technology across Europe.