Hydrogen Commercialization Receives Push From Japanese Government

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jun 04, 2014

    No infrastructure = no future. BEVs aren't for everyone, but at least the infrastructure is there, and it's cheap.

    • See 1 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jun 05, 2014

      @KixStart That depends on your perception of "slow" and "aren't very energy-dense" According to Tesla, they're about to cut charge times in half again (where the charging circuitry can handle it, and that includes where the rechargers are located) and almost double the effective range of cars due in the near future. Granted, they may never refuel as quickly as your current gas station, but battery-swap stations may change that paradigm.

  • Hybridkiller Hybridkiller on Jun 04, 2014

    It seems to me that onboard generation of electricity (in this case fuel cells) will never be the cheapest or most efficient way to get it done. I believe the real tech revolution will be in storage media (batteries). Develop a storage medium (battery) that's lighter, holds significantly more energy, and can be recharged quickly, and watch how fast EVs replace ICE vehicles.

  • Wmba Wmba on Jun 05, 2014

    This is thinly disguised free R & D money for Toyota and Honda to do the silliest thing imaginable. Waste natural gas to make hydrogen, then put it in over-the-top fuel cell designs to generate electricity. It is so stupid, it's actually happening, and will get the human race precisely nowhere. Both electricity and hydrogen are mere carriers of pure energy, refined secondary products that use energy to create. And these fuel cell vehicles use both! If anyone with a modicum of technical brains was in charge, both electric and hydrogen piwered vehicles would be banned immediately as a waste of resources. Barring the use of solar, wind, hydro and nookyoular to generate electrickery, of course. But the time for basic logic ended years ago, so now we put up with stupid ideas as being normal. And think no more of it.

    • See 3 previous
    • Big L from Chicago Big L from Chicago on Jun 05, 2014

      @Vulpine My take is that Big Oil is most at risk from wide spread vehicular electrification and their, or affiliated, trolls are out in force to confuse and delay its adoption every opportunity (worked well so far), and when confronted with logic, reason and sense they have no answer and can't respond.

  • Cdotson Cdotson on Jun 05, 2014

    So the picture for this article is the ugly prototype because the picture that should have run with this article was just used for the one on the ELR's non-sales? When I was an underclass engineering student I volunteered for the vehicle design team that built hydrogen hybrid electric vehicles for competition. They had a deal with a local sandwich shop so that after team meetings members got a half-price deal on a 2-foot-long sub the shop called the Hindenburg. The team leader though it was hilarious.