Even though California is often thought of as Ground Zero for hydrogen car technology and refueling infrastructure, Japan also has been quite pro-active in this field as well. And hence the Japanese have established a Hydrogen / Fuel Cell Strategy Roadmap in order to address the technical challenges going forward in regard to growing FCVs and infrastructure in that country.
The roadmap is broken down into three phases. Phase 1 starts now and will last until about 2025. During this period of rapid growth, the goal of this phase is to increase the number of residential fuel cells and the number of hydrogen fueling stations.
Phase 2 will start in the mid 2020’s and last until about 2030. During this phase, large-scale hydrogen distribution systems will be established along with acquiring cheap hydrogen from foreign countries. In Phase 3, which begins in about 2040, hydrogen production, transportation and storage will be fully realized including clean, renewable foreign and domestic sources.
The latter part of this roadmap will depend upon breakthroughs in highly efficient water elecrolyzers that can turn solar or wind energy into hydrogen. Since Toyota’s first commercial mass-produced fuel cell vehicle is slated to rollout in less than 1 year, having a roadmap for the future, including Japan’s hydrogen highway system, will help sustain growth in this industry for years to come.