Japan Plans To Popularize Fuel Cell Vehicles In 2040

- Sep 25, 2019-

At present, in the international community, everyone’s discussion on the topic of “ban on burning” is still very enthusiastic. As everyone knows, both the British and French governments hope to ban fuel vehicles by 2040. Recently, Japan, another big auto manufacturing powerhouse, plans to "burn" in 2040. However, this "burning" is not "burning".

Recently, Japan’s New Energy Industry Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has set a goal to increase the number of fuel cell vehicles in Japan by 2040, increasing its current capacity from approximately 2,000 to 3 million to 6 million vehicles. The mileage is increased to 1000 kilometers. The agency will promote the development of related technologies to improve fuel cell performance and reduce the manufacturing cost of the entire vehicle.

From 2,000 to 6 million

It is reported that NEDO is Japan's largest public R&D management organization. It was established in 1980 and is affiliated to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The agency was originally established to develop new energy technologies that could replace petroleum. In 1988, the scope of research was extended to industrial technology. NEDO first developed the "Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Development Roadmap" in 2005, and has undergone three revisions. This time, NEDO cooperated with power companies, fuel cell manufacturers, research institutes, etc., and revised the "Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Development Roadmap" for the fourth time to promote the popularity of fuel cell vehicles with the reputation of "the ultimate environmentally friendly car". .

It is reported that in this revision, NEDO has set a series of targets, that is, by 2020, the number of fuel cell vehicles in Japan will reach 40,000, 200,000 in 2025, 800,000 in 2030, and reach 2040 in 2040. 3 million to 6 million vehicles. In terms of driving mileage, the current driving range of fuel cell vehicles is generally about 650 kilometers. NEDO hopes to increase it to 800 kilometers from 2025 to 2030 and further increase to 1000 kilometers in 2040.

In addition, NEDO will promote technology development, improve battery performance and reduce body manufacturing costs. In order to achieve the goal of popularization in 2040, NEDO has set a number of technical indicators. Through the realization of these technical indicators, the future will promote the miniaturization and high performance of fuel cells, so that they can be used in most models. As the size of hydrogen storage tanks continues to shrink, the weight of fuel cell vehicles will also be reduced.

In fact, as early as July 2014, NEDO released the “NEDO Hydrogen Energy White Paper” aimed at realizing the “hydrogen society” in Japan, introducing the policy trends of building a “hydrogen society”, manufacturing, transportation, storage, utilization, etc. Technological development and future development direction. NEDO expects that by 2030, the domestic market for hydrogen fuel and fuel cell related industries will reach 1 trillion yen (about 57.3 billion yuan) and will reach 8 trillion yen by 2050.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has been paying close attention to the development of fuel cell vehicles. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which was enacted in June 2014 and revised in March 2016, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Strategic Roadmap also proposes to fully accelerate the use of hydrogen fuel. To this end, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has revised various technical standards. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has also revised some rules and regulations to bring Japanese standards and international standards into line with details, so that fuel cell vehicles made by Japanese car companies are easier to export overseas.

Toyota wants to cut the cost of the battery by half

In the field of fuel cell vehicles, the top Japanese automakers are undoubtedly Toyota and Honda. Toyota launched Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, at the end of 2014, while Clarity, a Honda hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, was launched in 2016.

Recently, at the Automotive Technology Exhibition "AutomotiveWorld" held in Tokyo, Japan, Toyota and Honda each expressed their determination to develop fuel cell vehicles. Toyota's Minister of Advanced Technology and General Manager He He said that Toyota plans to launch a new generation of Mirai models in 2020. By then, the fuel cell system cost of the new car will be half of what it is now, and it will be further reduced to 1/4 in 2025. In terms of sales, Toyota's goal is to sell more than 30,000 fuel cell vehicles worldwide after 2020, of which Japan's domestic sales will be at least 10,000.

As for Honda, it is hoped that mass production of fuel cell vehicles will be achieved by around 2020. In February 2017, Honda and GM established a joint venture company, and announced that in 2020, the fuel cell system jointly developed by the two companies will be put into mass production. At the "AutomotiveWorld" technology exhibition, the person in charge of the Honda Institute of Technology said: "Our goal is to establish a mass production system and develop advanced technologies that meet the requirements of cost reduction, durability and quality assurance."

Toyota and Honda are fond of hydrogen energy, in response to the call of the Japanese government to slow down the global warming effect and achieve a stable supply of energy. Sugimoto UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities senior analyst Sugimoto is very optimistic about the application prospects of hydrogen energy, he believes that the use of geothermal, snow and other sources of underutilized energy to produce hydrogen, will also help revitalize the local economy.

Government-enterprise cooperation to build core competitiveness

As a country with less energy, Japan has always attached importance to the development and utilization of renewable energy. At present, Japan is at the forefront in the use of hydrogen energy. The government has made the use of hydrogen energy a national policy and wants to build a “hydrogen society”. In the transportation sector, Japanese automakers and the government are promoting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

"The fuel cell vehicle is an area that is easy to produce for Japanese companies that are good at precision machining," said Yu Hongping, deputy director of Toyota Textile. He advocated that technology should not be easily imitated by overseas competitors to cope with international competition. Since its launch in the US in August 2015, the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle has sold 3,000 units in California and has a market share of more than 80% in the US hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market. Currently, there are not many hydrogen fuel cell models sold in the US and California. In addition to Toyota Mirai, only Honda ClarityFuelCell and Hyundai Tucson FuelCell are available for local consumers, and the latter two models are only available for rental.

At present, there are many obstacles to the popularization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In addition to the high cost of the fuel cell vehicle itself, high infrastructure construction costs are also one of the obstacles to the popularity of fuel cell vehicles. In Japan, the construction cost of each hydrogen refueling station is about 400 million yen. At present, there are only about 100 hydrogen refueling stations in Japan (including under construction), and there are as many as 7,000 fast charging stations for electric vehicles. Compared with this, the construction of hydrogen refueling stations is obviously lagging behind.

To this end, Japanese automakers and energy-related companies have repeatedly formed alliances to jointly develop related technologies and promote infrastructure construction. The most recent one was in January this year, 11 companies including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, JXTG Energy Group, Idemitsu Kosan, Iwatani, Tokyo Gas, Toho Gas, Japan Air Liquide, Toyota Tsusho and Japan Policy Investment Bank established a new company. Together, accelerate the construction of hydrogen refueling stations. It is no wonder that Japan has been at the forefront of the world in the promotion of hydrogen fuels.