The meeting of the most important gas, oil and car companies in Japan took place yesterday, on January 13. During the meeting, the issue of the infrastructure requested to drive hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles has been discussed.
The companies intend to open a domestic market for the Japanese technology, before they extend to other countries, thus only having to confront their own in-bred competitors.
Taking into account the new environmental standards, the companies are competing in adding alternative technologies to the combustion engine, having electric vehicles that are about to appear on the market and hybrid cars, which are already on sale for more than a decade.
Fuel-cell cars use water and heat as the only by-products, and have the purpose of turning hydrogen into electricity. They cannot be yet purchased, but several auto companies like Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co, or Nissan Motor Co are trying to start selling them in the next 4 years.
Furthermore, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and the other firms working on this project, such as Idemitsu Kosan Co, Tokyo Gas Co, or JX Nippon Oil & Energy Co are interested in trading with the authorities who desire to improve the fueling infrastructure of Osaka, Fukuoka, Tokyo and Nagoya by 2015. About 100 hydrogen stations are planned to be built in the above mentioned cities and the areas around them during the next few years.
The largest producer of carbon dioxide in Japan is represented by the transportation sector. Having the intention to introduce more low-emission cars, the government expressed the wish of opening a new market for fuel-cell cars by 2015. They said they would control and develop precise regulations during the next two years. In October, Japan will demand a new tax for using the primary fossil fuel.