Japan: top three carmakers investing $50 million to subsidize hydrogen fueling stations image

The country’s top three automakers announced recently new plans for expenses of up to 6 billion yen ($48.92 million) combined to support the cost of operating hydrogen fuelling stations.

Japan, a well known avenue of high technological advancements, aims to become the leading world in terms of hydrogen fuel cell cars, but so far it’s also en route to miss its zealous threshold of reaching a level of 100 hydrogen refill stations around the country by March 2016. The government has envisioned plans that call for a so-called hydrogen society in a bid to lower hazardous emissions and shed its heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels. Toyota, Nissan and Honda announced through a joint statement they would subsidize around one-third of the operational costs for hydrogen stations, though any given station would have a threshold of 11 million yen ($89,700) in terms of annual support.

The carmakers will cover the costs by way of splitting it to the number of fuel cell vehicles they sell each year, according to Toyota Senior Managing Officer Kiyotaka Ise. At the moment, the company’s Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is the only vehicle of its kind on sale, with production limited to just 700 units during the first year. Honda’s upcoming model in the segment is going to be unveiled by Next March, while Nissan’s competitor is not expected until at least 2017. In Japan, just 74 hydrogen fuelling stations have been planned, as construction costs are still very high. Each needs approximately $5 million to build and the government has capped the subsidies at about half.

Via Reuters