Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has announced a new collaboration on fuel cells, featuring the biggest names in the country’s auto industry.
The goal is to push for pollution-free vehicles that run on hydrogen; the Ministry plans to build more hydrogen fueling stations so that fuel-cell vehicles on roads will grow to 40,000 by 2020, from the current handful.
The collaboration will bring together 11 companies, including automakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda, several energy and gas companies as well as a bank.
According to the Associated Press, only a handful of such vehicles ply on roads, partly because of the scarcity of hydrogen stations. Tokyo-based Honda, for instance has delivered only 245 of its latest Clarity fuel-cell vehicles in Japan and the U.S. Toyota has delivered about 3,000 of its Mirai fuel cell cars.
The need for vehicles equipped with such futuristic technology is expected to grow because of concerns about pollution and global warming.
Other ecological vehicles are also available such as electric cars and hybrids, which switch back and forth between a gas engine and an electric motor. But the Japanese government has been especially bullish about hydrogen-powered autos. It aims to raise the number of hydrogen fueling stations to 160 by 2020, from about 90 today, including mobile ones.
Image credits and content: Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press.