Following the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Belgium, Norway is the 5th European country to start selling the fuel cell sedan. Uno-X Hydrogen, a newly established joint-venture that plans to establish a 20-station hydrogen network by 2020 in Norway, is the first customer in that country to take ownership of the Toyota Mirai.
Uno-X Hydrogen relies on renewable energy to produce hydrogen. The first of the 20 planned stations will use the surplus solar energy produced from the solar panels on the roof of the neighboring energy-positive office building. (Earlier post.)
The Norwegian government recently not only confirmed its support to a nationwide network of hydrogen refueling stations, it has also set up programs with the aim to reach sales of 50,000 hydrogen cars by 2025. The program offers many incentives that will make fuel cell cars even more attractive: these cars are exempt from registration taxes and value added tax, which can be very high in the country. Additionally, cost of ownership is further reduced for Norwegian fuel cell car drivers thanks to free toll roads and ferries, free public parking, access to bus lanes and 50% company car tax.
Toyota has been engaged in the research and development of automotive hydrogen fuel cell technology for more than 20 years. The latest result of this hard work is the Toyota Mirai, a zero-emission car with a driving range of up to 550 km (342 miles) that can be refueled in 3 to 5 minutes.
Toyota started commercializing the Mirai in 2015 and to date has delivered cars in Japan, California, Germany, UK, Denmark and Belgium with the Netherlands and Sweden to follow later this year. Toyota is now continuing its Mirai roll-out in Norway.