13 Japanese companies eye smooth domestic launch of FCVS

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., Honda Motor Company, Ltd., JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Company, Ltd., Iwatani Corporation, Osaka Gas Company, Ltd., Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd., Saibu Gas Company, Ltd., Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, Tokyo Gas Company, Ltd. and Toho Gas, Company, Ltd. jointly announce the following details regarding the launch of mass-produced fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs)—one of a number of potential next-generation vehicles—in the Japanese market in 2015 and the development of the hydrogen supply infrastructure necessary for the successful adoption of the vehicles.

1. As development of fuel-cell systems progresses, Japanese automakers are continuing to drastically reduce the cost of manufacturing such systems and are aiming to launch FCVs in the Japanese market—mainly in the country's four major metropolitan areas—in 2015. The automobile industry hopes to popularize the use of FCVs after their initial introduction as a way of tackling energy and environmental issues.

2. Hydrogen fuel suppliers are aiming to construct approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, based on the number of FCVs expected to initially enter the market, to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.

3. With an aim to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by the transportation sector, automakers and hydrogen fuel suppliers will work together to expand the introduction of FCVs and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan. The two groups are looking to the government to join them in forming various strategies* to support their joint efforts and to gain greater consumer acceptance.

*As a specific initiative in the immediate future, the companies plan to approach local governments and other concerned parties to discuss strategies for creating initial consumer demand for FCVs and for the optimal placement of hydrogen fueling stations, targeting Japan's four major metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka).