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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; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation; Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.; Iwatani Corporation; Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd.; Toho Gas Co., Ltd.; Air Liquide Japan Ltd.; Toyota Tsusho Corporation; and Development Bank of Japan Inc.

The new company will be established to accelerate Japan’s hydrogen initiative—which is driven mainly by these 11 companies—toward the achievement of Japan’s common target shared by the government and industries regarding the development of hydrogen recharging stations. According to the “Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” (revised 22 March 2016) released by the Council for a Strategy for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, an industry body organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, in the initial phase of promoting fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen, the target penetration is 160 stations and 40,000 fuel cell vehicles by FY 2020.

The objective of the new company is to enhance the collaboration among infrastructure developers, automakers, and financial institutions in order to simultaneously accelerate and scale up Japan’s deployment of HRS and FCV.

The new company will take on the following specific initiatives:

  1. Strategic deployment of hydrogen recharging stations. The company will aim to complete its mission in 10 years. During the first four years in Phase 1, the new company intends to target the construction of 80 new stations. To achieve this target, new member companies, extending beyond the current member companies, will be invited to participate.

    The new company will, while taking into account subsidies from the national government and initiatives of local governments, develop its own original “Hydrogen Recharging Station Deployment Plan,” in order to create an environment in which many users can enjoy driving fuel cell vehicles in Japan.

  2. Contribution to efficient hydrogen station operation. By collecting and utilizing information regarding the construction and operation of hydrogen recharging stations through infrastructure developers, which will oversee operations of hydrogen recharging stations, the new company, which will deploy and own stations nationwide, will contribute to efficient operations and other road map objectives.

    To encourage customers to use hydrogen, the new company will improve the convenience of stations, coordinating with the Association of Hydrogen Supply and Utilization Technology (HySUT), which has already begun actively expanding the market, for example by extending the number of service days per week to meet increased demand.

    The new company will collaborate with external organizations, such as the Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan (FCCJ) and HySUT, to reduce cost by addressing issues such as the standardization of equipment and revision of regulations.

To carry out these actions, member companies will play the following key roles:

  • The infrastructure developers (JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation; Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.; Iwatani Corporation; Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.; Toho Gas Co., Ltd.; and Air Liquide Japan Ltd. )will invest in and construct hydrogen recharging stations, and operate them, on behalf of the new company;

  • The automakers (Toyota Motor Corporation; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.) will contribute financially to the operations of the new company in order to efficiently deploy hydrogen recharging stations, improve convenience for users, and boost public awareness, while also striving for higher penetration of fuel cell vehicles during Phase 1; and

  • The financial institutions (Toyota Tsusho Corporation; Development Bank of Japan Inc.) will partially cover HRS deployment costs through investments. By providing the funds necessary until the HRS business becomes commercially sustainable, financial institutions will help reduce the financial burden borne by infrastructure developers during Phase 1 and will help attract new participants.

The new company will aim to seek wider participation by HRS-operating companies and investors, to achieve a sustainable HRS business and FCV penetration as swiftly as possible, thus contributing to the creation of a full-fledged hydrogen society in Japan.



This is more than good excellent news for the H2 industry and FCEVs of the near future.

No doubt that many lower cost ways will be found to make clean H2 with clean surplus/excess REs.

And Bri

They talk and invest in hydrogen since more than 10 years ago and now they talk like they are starting for good today.


Noticed the oil and gas companies in the mix. Looks like the hydrogen will come from reforming natural gas and this creates additional oil and gas demand. Flys in the face of those trying to replace fossil fuels with clean energy.


Wake me when this is done renewably, not just a scam from the fossil fuel companies.


Japan could have hydrogen powered trucks and buses.


Significant amounts of the needed hydrogen for transport are to come from renewables and previously wasted industrial sources everywhere.

For instance here is an electrolytic 10MW production facility given the go-ahead in Germany:

In addition fossil fuels are only harmful due to their waste products particularly GHG.

The stream from steam reforming can be captured, and is to be here:

'On the basis of the evaluations in the final EA, DOE determined that its proposed action to provide $284 million in cost-shared funding and Air Products' proposed project to demonstrate the capture and sequestration of CO2 from steam methane reforming process gas would have no significant impact on the human environment. All potential environmental impacts identified and analyzed in the EA would not be significant. Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required, and DOE issued a Finding of No Significant Impact.'

The real world of energy production and reduction of GHG emissions is complex and multi-faceted, and folks who fancy they can produce broad brush and prescriptive ukases on ' the only possible approach' ruling out all others are deluded, and frankly none too sensible.


Interesting to note that they plan to have 160 sites in Japan by 2020 and there are already 15,000 EV charging stations in California alone.


Difficult to compare very slow charge (60-90 minutes for 500 Km) EV stations with very quick charge (3 minutes for 500 Km) H2 stations.

It is like comparing Apples and Oranges.

H2 facilities are 20 to 30 times faster and that would mean a lot for larger vehicles like extended range buses, trucks and trains. You can't hardly stop a bus, truck or train for 60+ minutes to recharge but 3 minutes to reload with H2 (every 500 to 1,000 Km or so) would acceptable?


Harvey, do you have memory loss?  Tesla is down to less than 30 minutes for a charge, and we just had that Envia announcement of a silicon-based electrode that charges to 80% in 5 minutes.


Facts are that TESLAs cannot fully recharge a fully drained 100 KW battery pack with a TESLA 150 KW charger in less than 60 to 90+ minutes.

It is not a question of memory! Do the maths?

The Envia ultra quick charge batteries would not do much better with TESLA's limited chargers.


100 kWh / 150 kW = 2/3 hour.  40 minutes.  Do the math, Harvey.

The Supercharger stations are generally spaced such that 30 minutes will do, avoiding the low-power trickle at the top end of the charge.  As I noted before, the Envia cells will charge up to 80% in just FIVE minutes.


I recently (purposely) witnessed a TESLA S100 getting a full recharge.

The first 50% went at relative fast charge rate but the last 50% took as least twice as long. The total recharge lasted well over 60 minutes, well above 40 minutes. I almost froze to death. The owner mentioned 60 to 90 minutes for a full charge.

The rate of charge is not constant at all. The average is well below 150 KW and much closer to 100 KW.

Future higher speed chargers may equipped with an over voltage system to maintain a more constant rate of charge, but it remains to be done. It is a possibility to be exploited.


That's why the supercharger stations are spaced as they are, Harvey.  They're set so you can charge for 30 minutes max and have enough juice to make the next one.

And you STILL ignore the Envia cells that charge to 80% in 5 minutes.  What is WRONG with you?


Why would Poet-DT insist that current (installed) large battery packs can be fully recharge in 40 minutes with 150 KW charger, while reality says 60 to 90 minutes.

Lets see what quickest full recharge be for Envia batteries with current 150 KW charging facilities. Non-linear charging effect may also apply? Chargers with automated variable voltage output, to keep charging rate more constant, may still be required, but could be limited by battery structures and/or max voltage and/or max charging rate.

No doubt that an acceptable solution will be found and applied by 2020+ or so to reduce full charge time to under 10 minutes for Envia type batteries?

Why would Poet-DT insist that current (installed) large battery packs can be fully recharge in 40 minutes with 150 KW charger

WTF is wrong with you?  Never claimed that.  YOU said that 50% was achievable in 30 minutes.  I noted the Envia claim of 80% in 5 minutes... which Tesla is not using and doesn't seem capable of using yet.  But that is DEFINITELY on the table.

I repeat, WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!  Can you not SEE the evident potential?  Are you senile?  (Likely)


EP must have a very short memory. On Dec 15th he wrote that a 100 KW battery pack could be fully charged with a 150 KW charger in 40 minutes.

I double checked that in the field and found that was an overstatement. Reality is between 60 and 90 minutes because of uneven charge rate and chargers/batteries current design.

EP's second answer was to use lab type Envia batteries instead when he very knowns that is not possible (yet).

Come on (DT) Poet, do you have to win all the time. If so, you may have a place in politics?

However, I must admit that 3X to 5X very quick charge batteries (10 minutes or so) may be around by 2025/2030, but you cannot buy them yet? If I'm still around, I may buy an all weather extended range BEV.

EP must have a very short memory. On Dec 15th he wrote that a 100 KW battery pack could be fully charged with a 150 KW charger in 40 minutes.

And the initial rate is indeed roughly 1.5 C.  This tapers off over time, but that's why the Tesla scheme is to arrive at the charger with the battery almost flat and fill it up just enough to make the next charger with some in reserve.  This takes closer to 30 minutes even using LiCoO electrodes.  The chargers are spaced much less than one full charge-distance apart.

Using Envia's silicon electrodes, 80% charge could be done in 5 minutes.  Using lithium titanate hydrate and a ludicrously powerful charger, about 2 minutes.

EP's second answer was to use lab type Envia batteries instead when he very knowns that is not possible (yet).

There appears to be nothing too special about the Envia electrode formulation which would prevent it from being used in existing battery factories.  It could come into use as soon as the material can be made in bulk.


Tks E-P.

I like your new acquired flexibility and added kindness.

May we live long enough to see ultra quick charge 5X batteries at $50/KW (without lithium) installed in all weather extended range BEVs, buses, trucks, drones and planes.

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