Hydrogen Commercialization Receives Push From Japanese Government
While hydrogen is playing in the minors in California, the technology may soon be called up to the majors in Japan thanks to a boost in support for fuel-cell vehicles.
Nikkei Asian Review reports the Japanese government’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will relax pressurization rules for fuel cells this month, allowing for a new maximum of 875 atmospheres over the outgoing 700 atmosphere maximum. The increased pressure will raise the range of hydrogen vehicles by 20 percent before refueling is required.
The government is also in talks with the United Nations, the European Union and other governmental bodies on standardization involving importation and exportation of fuel-cell vehicles, making exports of such vehicles made by Japanese automakers easier to accomplish once the standards are in place by 2016.
At the moment, approximately 100 vehicles are traversing Japan’s roads in an experimental program, though more are expected to arrive beginning next year as Toyota, Honda and Hyundai press ahead with commercialization of fuel-cell vehicles.