Toyota launches new hydrogen production project in Japan
Japanese automaker Toyota has announced that it has partnered with the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, as well as the prefectural Kanagawa government, for a hydrogen production project. The project aims to further expand Japan’s growing hydrogen fuel infrastructure and address one of the major criticisms currently facing fuel cell vehicles. These vehicles have yet to become popular in Japan due to lacking infrastructure, but Toyota, as well as other organizations, intend to change this in the coming years.
Wind energy will be used to generate hydrogen for use in materials handling vehicles
Through the new project, Toyota will be producing hydrogen by using wind energy generated from the Hama Wing wind farm in Yokohama. The hydrogen will then be compressed and transported to four facilities, where it will be used to power forklifts. Iwatani Corp. and Toshiba are also involved in the project and both organizations have shown support for fuel cells and developing Japan’s hydrogen infrastructure.
Toyota has faith in hydrogen and its future in clean transportation
The project has received some criticism from supporters of electric vehicles that have questioned why Toyota is using wind energy to produce hydrogen rather than use this electrical power to charge electric vehicles. Toyota Senior Managing Officer Shigeki Tomoyama notes, however, that storing hydrogen is considerably easier than storing electricity. Moreover, Toyota believes that a stable supply of hydrogen produced through the use of clean energy is needed to mitigate emissions and secure a bright future for clean transportation.
Japan aims to establish a hydrogen society in the coming years
Japan hopes to becoming a leading force in the hydrogen industry, embracing fuel cell technology and expanding its hydrogen infrastructure aggressively. The country will play host to the 2020 Olympic Games, during which it intends to showcase its efforts to establish a hydrogen society. The Olympic Village that is being built to serve as a temporary home for athletes will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which produce no harmful emissions but are capable of generating considerable amounts of electrical power.