Japan takes charge of building hydrogen fuel infrastructureMay 27, 2013
Hydrogen fuel continues to gain traction in transportation
Hydrogen transportation has been considered more fantasy than reality for several years. This is partly due to the nature of fuel cells, which are both expensive and had once been considered grossly inefficient and unrealistic for the purposes of transportation. In recent years, however, the auto industry has been showing major support for hydrogen fuel. With many automakers planning to release hydrogen-powered vehicles in the near future, hydrogen transportation may soon emerge from the realm of science fiction and become one of the strongest forces in the world of transportation.
Success of hydrogen-powered vehicles may hinge on infrastructure
While fuel cells have come a long way in terms of technology, hydrogen transportation still faces a significant challenge when it comes to infrastructure. The success of hydrogen-powered vehicles is expected to be hinged on the hydrogen fuel infrastructure that countries have in place to support such vehicles. Japan has long been a very valuable market for the auto industry and it is one of the countries that have been making strong progress in establishing a hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
Oil companies working to support hydrogen
Companies like JX Nippon Oil have begun establishing hydrogen fuel networks throughout the country, backed by financial aid from the Japanese government. JX Nippon Oil is one of 13 companies that are working to establish a comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the country, hoping to ensure that Japan remains one of the most popular markets for the auto industry. The efforts of these companies have been supported by automakers like Toyota and Honda, both of which have high hopes for hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Japanese government looks to make hydrogen fuel infrastructure somewhat less expensive
Hydrogen fuel stations are not an inexpensive venture. According to Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, the cost of one hydrogen station is more than double the cost of conventional gas stations. In order to help cover the costs associated with building a hydrogen fuel infrastructure, the agency has launched a subsidiary agency that is responsible for covering approximately half of the costs of building a working hydrogen fuel station.