FC Expo 2015: Measures to increase FCV market penetration

Details of government support and technologies in Toyota Mirai and Honda FCV




 The FC EXPO 2015, organized by Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd., was held on February 25 to 27, 2015 at Tokyo Big Sight. The unprecedented crowd at the exhibition venues and seminar halls proved high public interest in fuel cell technologies. This report focuses on the operating principles and latest technologies of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and market conditions toward commercialization of FCVs. These contents are based on the lectures given by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), automobile manufacturers and hydrogen suppliers at the Expo.

 In June 2014, METI published a strategic roadmap toward promotion of market launch of FCVs. The Ministry has since been revising laws such as the deregulation of rules regarding hydrogen refueling stations. The roadmap calls for building 100 hydrogen stations during the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2016.

 Prompted by the ministerial decisions, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation and Iwatani Corporation have started installing hydrogen stations. The hydrogen refueling cost is set at JPY 1,000 to 1,100 per kilogram, equivalent to refueling cost of hybrid vehicles of the same class. The companies already use the prices which are set as the target prices to be achieved in 2020 in the ministerial roadmap to promote the market penetration of FCVs.

 In December 2014, Toyota Motor Corporation launched the Mirai, the world's first FCV. The FCV already received 1,500 pre-launch orders within the first month after its launch and Toyota plans to increase production capacity for the Mirai to 3000 units a year from 2016 onward. Honda plans to launch its FCV by the end of March 2016. The structure and technologies implemented in the two companies' FCVs are introduced below in relation to the operating principles of FCVs.

Related reports:
Toyota launches Mirai fuel cell vehicle in December 2014 (December 2014)
FC EXPO 2014 and FCV launch plans (March 2014)