Japan to Ease Regulations to Promote Fuel Cells Usage

The Japanese government has confirmed that it intends to introduce self-service hydrogen filling stations and also promote the use of fuel cells.

“It’s time to introduce a hydrogen era,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a test drive of Toyota’s Mirai fuel-cell model. “I want all ministries and agencies to have it.” He didn’t give a timeframe for the self-service stations or elaborate on plans to relax rules.

Japanese car makers which are using fuel cells have called on the government for greater support.
A spokesman for the government has said the administration is planning to introduce a comprehensive policy for fuel cells later this year, and will include plans for hydrogen distribution facilities to support the development of hybrid vehicles.

Abe said Japan intends to create a “hydrogen society,” with cells powered by the element also powering homes and office buildings.

Toyota had expected orders for 400 units of its Mira car by the end of 2015, but the figure is already at 1,500 currently, with the greatest demand coming from the government sector. Under the government incentive scheme, some buyers of the car will get 3 million yen (US$25,500) in subsidies for the 7.24 million Yen Mira.

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