Hydrogen stations to expand in Japan
Eleven companies have announced joint establishment of Japan H2 Mobility, LLC (JHyM), aimed at the full-fledged development of hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in Japan. These companies are 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 newly formed JHyM is expected to foster the deployment of hydrogen stations throughout Japan under the guidance of the Japanese Central Government's Ministerial Council on Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Related Issues (see Basic Hydrogen Strategy, published on December 26, 2017). In alignment with Central Government policies, the 11 founding companies joined to create a framework in which not only infrastructure developers and automakers but also investors are involved in collaboration, based on the common belief in the effectiveness of hydrogen and FCV for mobility and continued sustainable societal development.
To tackle the key issues raised during the beginning stage of FCV promotion, JHyM said it will ensure that infrastructure developers, automakers, and investors each do their part to support the successful strategic deployment of hydrogen stations in Japan, promoting effective operation and facilitating a positive cycle of improved convenience for FCV users. The ultimate goal of JHyM is to smoothly increase the number of FCV on the road in Japan, and thus to sustainably build the hydrogen station business.
JHyM aims to complete its mission within 10 years. It intends to start building 80 stations nationwide by fiscal year 2021 in line with the Japanese Central Government's Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (revised March 22, 2016), and to further extend the network afterward. This roadmap released by the Council for a strategy for hydrogen and fuel cells targets the completion of about 160 hydrogen stations serving around 40,000 FCV by fiscal year 2020.
JHyM said it will take on the following initiatives:
- Strategic deployment of hydrogen stations: The new company will, while considering subsidies from the national government and initiatives of local governments, develop its own original "Hydrogen Station Deployment Plan" to create an environment in which many users can enjoy driving fuel cell vehicles in Japan. Wider participation than its initial member companies will be sought to ensure completion of the target deployment plan.
- Contribution to efficient hydrogen station operation: By collecting and using information about the construction and operation of hydrogen stations through infrastructure developers, which will oversee operations of hydrogen stations, the new company, which will deploy and own stations nationwide, will contribute to efficient operations and other road map objectives in the following ways.
- To encourage customers to use hydrogen, JHyM is expected to improve the convenience of stations, coordinating with the Association of Hydrogen Supply and Utilization Technology (HySUT), an industrial association of hydrogen station developers. One way it may do this is by extending the number of service days per week to meet increased demand.
- JHyM 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.
The following key roles and responsibilities will be undertaken by the founding member companies of JHyM:
- Infrastructure developers will contribute some capital, construct hydrogen stations, and operate them.
- Automakers will entrust infrastructure developers to operate the hydrogen stations through JHyM, to help promote the expansion of hydrogen stations and FCV.
- Investors will contribute to scaling-up the deployment of hydrogen stations in the future with financial means. They will partially cover station deployment costs through investments in JHyM. By providing the funds necessary until the hydrogen station business becomes commercially sustainable, they will help reduce the initial financial burden borne by infrastructure developers and will help attract new participants.
JHyM will start operating in April 2018, aiming to attract the wider participation of hydrogen station operators and investors, and to achieve sustainable hydrogen station business and FCV development in Japan.