Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, seems to believe that hydrogen is the energy of the future. When he attended to the opening of Tokyo’s first hydrogen fuelling station, a few days ago, he described this event as “the dawn of a true hydrogen society”. By the way, Mr Abe himself was also the first to take delivery of the Mirai, the new fuel-cell car manufactured by Toyota.
The japanese government is paying generous subsidies of about ¥3m ($25,000) per fuel-cell vehicle (each currently costs around ¥7m) to residents of Tokyo. In addition, the city has pledged a total of ¥45 billion for hydrogen-related infrastructure ahead of the Tokyo Olympics games in 2020. Billions more in public money has been set aside to build filling stations around the country over the next year. The government hopes that hydrogen cars could be the next hit for Japan, which has lost ground globally in computers and electronics.
But this development is not limited to automotive industry. Japan also plans to install small hydrogen fuel-cell units in over 5m homes by 2030.