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Nippon Oil: Gas Stations Will “Pump” Electricity and Hydrogen

In an interview with the Nikkei, Shinji Nishio, president of Nippon Oil Corp., said that gas stations will transform into providers of electricity and hydrogen, in addition to gasoline.

Given automakers’ production plans, electric vehicles will in the near future account for less than 1% of all passenger cars, with little immediate impact on gasoline sales. But in the medium term, electric vehicles will have an inevitable impact. I often tell gas station managers that we must adapt to the changing times. Electric cars are currently beset by high prices and short distances per charge, but technological innovation will lead to eventual improvements. Such vehicles may expand at an enormous rate from around 2015.

If the DPJ’s campaign pledge of reducing Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from the 1990 level by 2020 is implemented, it could possibly result in electric and hybrid vehicles accounting for all new car sales.

Starting in October, Nippon Oil is installing rapid chargers at 22 gas stations in Tokyo, Kanagawa and other prefectures. The additional time required to recharge an electric vehicle compared to fueling a car with gasoline (15-30 minutes compared to about 5) may give stations opportunities to provide additional services, Nishio said.

Nishio said he expected the number of gasoline stations may decline by more than 20%, proportional to the fall in demand for gasoline (which began in fiscal 2005).

When fuel cell cars arrive on the market, Nishio said, gas stations will also need to offer hydrogen.



We'll see if fuel cells can get a toehold after Better Place's taxi trial in Tokyo.


At the current level of development, it seems that Fuel Cells could be refueled with hydrogen as fast as our ICE can be refueled with gas and/or diesel, for similar range.

This is not the case (yet) for BEVs. Range and recharge time are still to be addressed before they can compete with the other two technologies.

We may have to wait another 5+ years for very quick charge BEVs with 300+ miles range per charge.


Even a 5 minute quick charge could give you enough charge to get quite a distance and maybe more than enough to get to work or a shopping facility or home where more time and a fuller charge would be waiting.

Henry Gibson

Battery electric vehicles cannot be permitted on the roads. They all should be Plug-In-Hybrids in order to make the batteries cheaper to use.

The recharging time for battery vehicles is indeed long, but for most uses it can happen slowly when the vehicle is parked at work or at home, and when grid power demand is low.

There is no source of hydrogen that would not be more efficiently used in power plants to produce electricity. Wind power and solar power can be used directly to charge highly efficient batteries. ..HG..


The coming change with electric vehicles will not be the long wait times at a "fueling station" to "fill 'er up". The change will be that most people will not "top off the tank" and only use a short (~5 minutes?) charge to get where they need to go until they can charge more cheaply at home. I would not doubt that there will be a surcharge for filling up at a station.

Then again there will always be a market for hybrids and full ICE vehicles until regulations are passed withOUT grandfather clauses to force apartment/condo real estate owners to incorporate charging stations in their parking. Given the costs, there would be significant push back on such regulations. Not everyone can own a home (~40% of US households don't own a home, not sure on percentage in apts/condos) and especially not in the bigger metros. Bus is an option - if you work and live right next to main bus lines otherwise you add an extra hour or two to your daily commute. Therefore, I see ICE powered vehicles as being a significant part of the vehicle fleet (in the US) for many years to come.

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