Tokyo opts for hydrogen and promotes fuel cell commercial vehicles

Tokyo hydrogen vehicles

The Japanese government has decided to double its budget for hydrogen initiatives in 2024. While the authorities in Tokyo have already been supporting the purchase of fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) and the installation of hydrogen refuelling stations for a decade, they have now decided to focus on commercial fuel cell vehicles, including HGVs.

Thus, the Tokyo government has allocated 20.3 billion yen (around $133 million) to hydrogen-related projects for 2024. This is twice the amount for the previous year. 4.2 billion yen (around $27.6 million) of this sum is to support the purchase of large hydrogen-powered trucks (with a cap of 56 million yen, or around $370,000, per vehicle) and to subsidise fuel to bridge the price gap with diesel at the pump.

Financial aid will also be provided to adapt existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure to accommodate large commercial vehicles.

Tokyo has been leaning towards hydrogen mobility for a decade

In 2014, Tokyo predicted that fuel cell vehicles would drive demand for hydrogen. The Japanese capital aimed to introduce 6,000 FCEVs and to install 35 hydrogen stations by 2020. However, the target has not been met. By 2023, only 1,500 FCEVs and 19 hydrogen stations were in operation.

Tokyo has therefore decided to focus on hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles and HGVs. With the introduction of subsidies last year, the city aims to have 3,500 small fuel cell trucks on the road (70 at present), and 1,000 HGVs by 2030. There are also plans to add 31 stations, bringing the total to 50 by the same date.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, there were 181 hydrogen stations in Japan in May 2023 (including those under construction). As for the number of FCEVs, it stood at 7,755 in April of the same year. As a comparison, 80,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2023.

To stay up to date with the latest hydrogen-related news and updates in Japan click here

Source : The Mainichi

Article written by Logan King and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

Logan King

Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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