Japan will miss its hydrogen fuel infrastructure goalApril 17, 2015
Japan will not be able to build 100 hydrogen fuel stations by March 2016
Japan may not be able to reach its goal of installing 100 hydrogen fuel stations by March 2016. The Japanese government has been working to establish the country as the leading market for fuel cell vehicles and fuel cells in general. This has involved investing more than $178 million into the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure. While several companies have moved to take advantage of this government funding, the country is unlikely to attain its infrastructure goals next year.
Country will be 24 stations short of its goal in March 2016
The Japanese government has only managed to approve 76 hydrogen fuel stations for construction in various parts of the country. This means that the country will be 24 stations short of reaching its goal by next year. The approval period for these stations ended in March, so new hydrogen stations will have to wait to get approved by the government before they can be developed. Though Japan is falling short of its goal, it has managed to develop one of the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel networks in the world.
Need for infrastructure is limited due to lack of fuel cell vehicles
Japan may not need an expansive hydrogen infrastructure due to the fact that fuel cell vehicles are in limited supply. Currently, the only fuel cell vehicle that is commercially available in Japan in the Toyota Mirai, which has won strong praise from the Japanese government. Both Hyundai and Hondo have plans to launch their own fuel cell vehicles in the country next year, which may put Japan’s existing hydrogen infrastructure to the test. New fueling stations may be needed in order for these fuel cell vehicles to find the success that their makers want to see.
Fuel stations will be needed to successfully commercialize fuel cell vehicles
Though fuel cell vehicles are becoming more popular, they do not have the infrastructure support they need to achieve mass market potential. Much of the world lacks the hydrogen infrastructure to support fuel cell vehicles, which has delayed the auto industry’s plans to launch such vehicles in the near future. Several countries are currently working to develop a comprehensive fuel infrastructure in order to become prominent clean transportation markets.