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 was first published in June 2014. With the increased dissemination of fuel cells for households, the launch of fuel cell vehicles onto the market, and steady progress in the construction of hydrogen stations, the Council has revised the plan, setting new targets. For vehicles, these targets are:
About 40,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2020; 200,000 by 2025; and about 800,000 by 2030, in total. Currently there are some 500 fuel cell vehicles on the roads.
The number of hydrogen stations is to increase to about 160 stations by 2020 and about 320 stations by 2025. There are about 80 currently.
The council also discussed the technical and economic challenges concerning the utilization of hydrogen generated using renewable energy.
The new plan published by METI also calls for research and development to reduce the cost of fuel cells to one-fourth the current level.
The Asahi Shimbun reported that the Japanese government projects that the cost of fuel cells can be halved from the current level by 2020 and lowered to around one-fourth by 2025 by reducing the use of expensive cell materials and the standardization and sharing of cell components.
Reduction in stack cost will enable the auto industry to introduce popular-market FCV models priced less than ¥3,000,000 (US$27,500), according to the plan.
Toyota Motor has said it plans to achieve annual global sales of more than 30,000 Mirai fuel cell vehicles by 2020.