Hydrogen-powered FCVs certainly have a lot going for them. On one hand, they are zero-emission – producing only water and no carbon dioxide at all. On the other, they are capable of achieving a driving range similar to a regular petrol-powered vehicle and can be refilled within the same amount of time too. The only drawback is the lack of hydrogen station infrastructure.
The Japanese government highlighted the importance of developing this infrastructure following the formulation of its Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in June 2014. With this initiative, it is in the hope that hydrogen-powered FCVs gain popularity. Besides introducing subsidies to support the installation of hydrogen stations, additional policies are also introduced, including partially subsidising the operating costs.
Among the three companies, Toyota introduced its Mirai in November 2014, which went on sale in Japan a month later. The next-generation of Honda’s FCV Concept made its debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. As for Nissan, it’s most recent FCV was the TeRRA SUV concept unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. In January 2013, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., under the Alliance with Renault, have signed a unique three-way agreement for the joint development of common fuel cell system.