Japan NEDO launches major $90M solid-state Li-ion battery project targeting EVs; 23 companies, 15 universities/research institutes

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has launched the second phase of a major solid-state Li-ion battery project in a quest to achieve both high energy density and safety in batteries for electric vehicles. NEDO set a target date of fiscal 2022 for the core technologies; prior... Read more →


Seven companies—Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO); TEPCO Energy Partner, Inc.; TEPCO Power Grid, Inc.; Hitachi Systems Power Service, Ltd.; Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC); SHIZUOKA GAS Co., Ltd.; and Hitachi Solutions, Ltd.—have been selected by the Ministry for Economy, Transport and Infrastructure (METI) to receive grants under METI’s FY2018... Read more →


Seven-Eleven and Toyota entered into a basic agreement in August 2017 regarding considerations toward energy conservation and carbon dioxide emission reduction in store distribution and operation. Toyota has been investigating the use of newly developed fuel cell trucks and fuel cell generators, and the project will be implemented in stages... Read more →


Mazda launching updated CX-3 in Japan with new 1.8L diesel

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun accepting pre-orders for the updated Mazda CX-3 at dealerships throughout Japan. The redesigned model adopts parts of Mazda’s next-generation SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture. Improvements were made to the front dampers, front stabilizers and coil springs, and the G-Vectoring Control and electric power steering systems were carefully tuned... Read more →


New program in Japan to push development of solid-state batteries

The Nikkei reports that Leading Japanese manufacturers have teamed up with the government in a program to develop solid-state batteries. The new program teams the Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center (Libtec) with companies such as Toyota Motor and Panasonic. To support the program, Japan’s Ministry of... Read more →


Ammonia (NH3) has been drawing attention as a carbon-free alternative fuel. NH3 could be widely used in thermal power generation and industrial furnaces as an alternative to gasoline and light oil. However, compared with fossil fuels, NH3 has a high ignition temperature; a low combustion rate and N2O/NOx production. To... Read more →


Japan policy shift allows imports of ETBE made from US corn-based ethanol; increased carbon-intensity requirement

The Japanese government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ETBE (Ethyl Tert-Butyl Ether) made from US corn-based ethanol. ETBE is an oxygenated gasoline fuel component and ether. ETBE, conventionally derived from ethanol (47% v/v) and isobutylene (53% v/v), features properties including high octane, low boiling point and low vapor... Read more →


In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The project is a first step toward realizing the 2030 vision of a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain formulated... Read more →


Nissan to launch 3 new EVs and 5 new e-POWER models in Japan by FY2022; 100K LEAFs sold in Japan

Nissan announced that it plans to launch three new electric vehicles and five e-POWER models in Japan by the end of fiscal 2022 (31 March 2023). e-POWER technology features a small gasoline engine that charges a high-output battery, eliminating the need for an external charging source. Nissan expects electric vehicles... Read more →


The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments and a consortium of companies have launched the pilot of an innovative supply chain that will deliver liquefied hydrogen from the Latrobe Valley in Australia to Japan. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project will convert brown coal from the AGL Loy Yang mine... Read more →


Moody’s Japan says push for electrified vehicles poses credit challenges for key Japanese sectors

Moody’s Japan K.K. says that the push toward alternative-fuel vehicles—battery electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles—poses a credit challenge for multiple sectors in Japan, with the large auto sector and sectors such as steel and refining most affected. Over the next decade, Japanese auto manufacturers and associated industries... Read more →


Nissan Serena e-POWER goes on sale in JapanThe Nissan Serena e-POWER will go on sale in Japan on 1 March, combining the exceptional driving performance of the e-POWER electrified powertrain (earlier post) with the family-friendly features of the popular Serena minivan. The Serena will be the second model with the... Read more →


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and DeNA Co., Ltd. will begin a field test of Easy Ride, the robo-vehicle mobility service being developed by both companies, on 5 March. (Earlier post.) Easy Ride is envisioned as a mobility service for anyone who wants to travel freely to their destination of choice... Read more →


Technology developed by Nissan for the battery-electric Nissan LEAF will be used in an electric bus project led by a team from Kumamoto University, that starts testing next month in Japan, with the goal of making zero-emission public transit more widespread and affordable. The bus, named “Yoka ECO Bus,” will... Read more →


11 Japanese auto, infrastructure and financial companies establishing new company to develop hydrogen stations

As a result of discussions that began in May 2017, eleven companies in Japan have signed an agreement to form a new company in the spring of 2018 aimed at the full-fledged development of hydrogen recharging stations (HRS) for fuel cell vehicles (FCV). The initial partners include Toyota Motor Corporation;... Read more →


Nissan to launch car-sharing service in Japan with new LEAF, Note e-POWER

As part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan will introduce a car-sharing service in Japan enabling users to experience the company’s advanced technologies in vehicle electrification and intelligence. The service, named e-share mobi, will begin 15 Jan 2018, and will initially feature the new, all-electric Nissan LEAF and the Nissan Note... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation and the MS&AD Insurance Group’s Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd. have jointly developed Japan’s first driving behavior-based telematics automobile insurance. The plan is available to owners of certain units of Toyota connected cars, and uses driving data gathered via telematics technologies to adjust insurance premiums based... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has introduced a new taxi vehicle for Japan, the “JPN Taxi.” Equipped with a newly developed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hybrid system, the new model offers 19.4 km/L (45.6 mpg US, 5.51 l/100 km) fuel economy and sharply reduced CO2 emissions. Toyota made enhancements to safety equipment,... Read more →


Toyota Mobility Foundation launches research program to support innovative hydrogen energy solutions

The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has launched a research program to spur the development of a “hydrogen society”—envisioned as a set of communities with integrated, green-energy networks powered by mini-hydrogen plants that aim to create a carbon-free, hydrogen distribution system. TMF has begun soliciting research proposals under this new program.... Read more →


Four Japanese companies—Chiyoda, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha—have launched the “Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development”(AHEAD) along with the world’s first Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project. The project, a subsidized “Technology Development Project to establish Hydrogen Society/Technology Development for the Utilization of Large Scale Hydrogen... Read more →


Japan Post and Honda to collaborate on using electric motorcycles for postal deliveries

Japan Post Co., Ltd. and Honda Motor Co. began discussions and signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the development and use of electric motorcycles for postal deliveries; these will serve as an alternative to the current gasoline-powered delivery motorcycles. During the past approximately half century, Japan Post and Honda have... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation delivered the first fuel cell bus (FC bus) sold under the Toyota brand to the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. This FC bus will be put into operation as a Toei route bus in March along with a second bus that is scheduled for... Read more →


Australia and Japan developing safety standards for marine transport of liquid hydrogen; KHI building carrier

Australia and Japan recently signed a memorandum at the headquarters of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which will allow liquid hydrogen (LH2) to be shipped in bulk for the first time. Ship containment systems are being developed in Japan that will be capable of safely transporting liquid hydrogen in... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation will partner with five Japanese power companies—Tohoku Electric Power Co., Ltd.; TEPCO Energy Partner, Inc.; Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.; Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.; and Shikoku Electric Power Company, Inc. to offer the new PHV Connected Power Service. This service will provide customers of the new... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation will begin to sell fuel cell buses (FC buses) under the Toyota brand from early 2017. After repeated field tests of the hydrogen-powered buses for practical use, the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to utilize two of the Toyota FC Buses as fixed-route... Read more →


Suzuki reports fuel economy testing irregularities in Japan but says no need to amend values

Suzuki announcement that it has found “some discrepancies” between the automobile emission and fuel efficiency testing methodology it has used in Japan and the requirements from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). However, the company said, after retesting vehicles, it found that all certified fuel efficiency values... Read more →


Mitsubishi Motors manipulated fuel economy testing on 625K mini-cars sold in Japan; other models affected

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has admitted to manipulating fuel consumption testing data for some 625,000 mini-cars it manufactured for sale in Japan by itself and partner Nissan. Nissan was the one who identified the discrepancies. In a statement, MMC said that with respect to the fuel consumption testing data submitted... Read more →


Japan updates hydrogen fuel cell targets; 320 stations by 2025, 800,000 vehicles by 2030

Japan’s Council for a Strategy for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, which includes experts from industry, academia, and government, recently issued a revised version of the Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established the Council in December 2013; the Strategic Road Map... Read more →


A Japanese partnership comprising the Kanagawa Prefectural Government; the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki; Toyota; Toshiba; and Iwatani announced the forthcoming start of a four-year project to implement and evaluate an end-to-end low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will use hydrogen produced from renewable energy to power... Read more →


On 10 March, Honda Motor Co. began sales in Japan of its all-new fuel cell vehicle (FCV), the Clarity Fuel Cell. (Earlier post.) Honda is targeting sales of approximately 200 units in the first year, with a focus on lease sales mainly to local government bodies or businesses Honda has... Read more →


Tottori Prefecture, Tottori Gas Co., Ltd, Sekisui House Ltd. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. signed an agreement to pursue jointly Tottori Prefecture’s project to establish a base for a hydrogen energy demonstration (and environmental education). This will be Japan’s first case where hydrogen energy will be utilized through the integration... Read more →


Bosch has begun on-road testing of autonomous driving in Japan, its third location for the development work after Germany and the US. Bosch’s initial goal is the development of the highway pilot, which will allow cars to drive autonomously on freeways and freeway-like roads starting in 2020. Worldwide, nearly 2,500... Read more →


euglena planning commercial production of biojet and renewable diesel from algae in Japan

Japan-based euglena Co. plans to produce and supply biojet and renewable diesel in Japan at commercial scale in the 2020s with support from the City of Yokohama, Chiyoda Corporation, Itochu Enex Co., Isuzu Motors and All Nippon Airways (ANA). The company will build Japan’s first demonstration plant for the production... Read more →


Mazda Motor Corporation’s new paint system—the Aqua-tech Paint System—has received the Prime Minister’s Award (Manufacturing and Production Process Category) at the 6th Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award ceremony. The Aqua-tech Paint System reduces emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared to Mazda’s previous oil-based paint systems without increasing energy consumption (and... Read more →


Major corporate and public sector partners in Japan are launching an effort to test a full carbon-neutral hydrogen supply chain powered by renewable wind energy. The trials are planned to take place near the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki in the Keihin coastal region. On the public sector side, the... Read more →


Fukushima and the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute (FREA) have launched a power-to-has project with a view to making the prefecture a hydrogen supply center by as early as 2016, according to a report in The Japan Times, via Fukushima Minpo. The project will test and refine a model of hydrogen-supply... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have agreed on key details of their joint support project for the development of hydrogen station infrastructure in Japan. (Earlier post.) The joint project (conducted alongside the Japanese government’s support for hydrogen stations) will cover one-third of the... Read more →


Intelligent Energy will showcase its evaporatively-cooled 100kW automotive fuel cell architecture (earlier post) at the JSAE Automotive Engineering Exposition in Japan, 20-22 May. The company’s unique stack technology offers leading power densities of 3.5 kW/l (volumetric) and 3.0 kW/kg (gravimetric), while being engineered for low-cost, high-volume series production. Intelligent Energy’s... Read more →


In a policy update, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reports that Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) have finalized new proposed fuel economy standards for light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles with gross vehicle weights less than 3.5... Read more →


In conjunction with the start of sales of Toyota’s Mirai fuel cell vehicle in Japan (earlier post), Fujitsu launched a hydrogen station data management service, the first in Japan, enabling people to access real-time information on the location and hours of operation of hydrogen stations, both stationary and mobile. The... Read more →


Toshiba Corporation and Kawasaki City will conduct a cooperative demonstration experiment of an independent energy supply system utilizing solar power and hydrogen. This system will be set up in the Kawasaki Marien public facility and Higashi-Ogishima-Naka Park in the Kawasaki Port area. The demonstration will run from April 2015 (the... Read more →


The Nikkei reports that Toyota will begin sales of its new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV), reportedly named Mirai, in Japan in December. The company had earlier said the fuel cell sedan would be on sale in Japan before April 2015, and in the US and Europe by summer 2015.... Read more →


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd and the City of Yokohama will extend the one-year trial run of the first large-scale One-way Car Sharing Service in Japan, called “Choimobi Yokohama,” for another year. (Earlier post.) The service, which kicked off on 11 October 2013, features Nissan’s ultra-compact New Mobility Concept electric vehicles.... Read more →


Toyota’s Mitsuhisa Kato briefs the media in Japan on the timing and pricing of the FCV, and outlines the company’s view of the role of fuel cell vehicles. Click to enlarge. Toyota Motor Corporation revealed the exterior design and Japan pricing of its hydrogen fuel cell sedan, first unveiled as... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have jointly established a new company, Nippon Charge Service, LLC, to promote the installation of chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, EVs). The goal is to help build a charging network that offers more... Read more →


Eight Japanese automakers and one automobile research institute—Suzuki Motor; Daihatsu Motor; Toyota Motor; Nissan Motor; Fuji Heavy Industries; Honda R&D; Mazda Moto; Mitsubishi Motors; and Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI)—have jointly established the Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines (AICE). AICE’s president is Keiji Otsu, Managing Officer, Honda R&D.... Read more →


Image of how the driving support system utilizes traffic signal information. Click to enlarge. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. plans to begin public road demonstration testing of its driving support system utilizing traffic signal information next month. The demonstration testing will be conducted in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan in... Read more →


Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced a voluntary recall of the all-new Fit Hybrid (earlier post) and Vezel Hybrid (earlier post) produced in Japan from July 2013 through February 2014 due to a problem with the software program controlling the 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) which could cause non-engagement of gears,... Read more →


JAMA cites the poor oxidation stability of high-level biodiesel blends, highlighted in the JATOP findings, in sticking with B5 levels. PME= palm oil methyl ester, RME = rapeseed methyl ester, SME = soy methyl ester, WME = waste cooking oil methyl ester, FTD = Fischer-Tropsch diesel, HBD = hydrogenated biodiesel.... Read more →


Noah G (hybrid model with options). Click to enlarge. In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation launched the completely redesigned Voxy minivan through Netz dealers, and the completely redesigned Noah minivan through Toyota Corolla dealers; hybrid models are scheduled for release on 14 February. Monthly sales targets for Japan are 4,600 units... Read more →