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Japan readies fuel cell subsidies for Toyota's next project

15 Comments
By Yoko Kubota and Maki Shiraki

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15 Comments
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Corporate welfare, anyone? If subsidies are needed to make a company's product affordable to consumers, then that product should not be produced. Why take part of the taxes I pay to subsidize a car for someone else?

If the recent breakthrough in battery technology at Tokyo University is true, and they have in fact developed a battery which is 7 times better than current lithium-ion batteries, then Toyota's fuel cell vehicles will be at a serious disadvantage over all-electric models. No doubt the government will also subsidize hyrodgen plants and stations as well. What a farce.

No doubt a lot of Japanese bureaucrats will enjoy senior positions at Toyota after they retire from government.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Good for Toyota always a step ahead

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Yeah, right. 2 Million Yen tax money for one car. Because Japan has no debt problem. But you should know, that the president of Toyota is also a personal good friend of Mr. Abe and that Toyota Corporation paid 0 Yen tax in 2013. Future generations will be thankful for this.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Affluent/rich people will be subsidized by the government so that they drive cars that most of us can't afford. Great idea. I hope the government can find more groups of rich consumers to throw money at.

It's good thing the government hiked our consumption tax. Otherwise it couldn't afford to be doing all this, eh?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The main reason behind the subsidy is to price Toyota's car lower than the Tesla S, which is currently being released in Japan. Toyota cannot make a car which will compete with Tesla, but as usual for a Japanese company, they can rely on the Japanese government to tilt the playing field in their favor.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

i'll wait for the day we can fuel our car like in back to the future: a half can of beer, banana peel and some egg shells.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should this story be in the Crime section, The Biggest Car Maker In The World gets a tax payer subside while paying no tax itself. Can't make these stories up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well we see that Abe is square in the pocket of Japan Inc, and that while there is a crisis still of missing pensions Toyota can depend on their BFF Shinzo to offer a little incentive to make Tesla less than desirable, wink wink. Wonder how the Abe lovers and defenders will spin this?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If subsidies are needed to make a company's product affordable to consumers, then that product should not be produced. Why take part of the taxes I pay to subsidize a car for someone else?

Well there pretty much goes the entire health care industry and well also the solar power industry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hey, why not just fully subsidize every hybrid/electric and give them away, ahem, permit the means-tested top 10% to "purchase" them? After all, that national debt? Ha! We owe it to ourselves anyway!

There should be NO subsidies for ANY product. Literally robbing Peter(Tom, Dick, and Taro as well) to pay Paul, or at least "help" finance his money-pit car.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JeffLee

Affluent/rich people will be subsidized by the government so that they drive cars that most of us can't afford. Great idea. I hope the government can find more groups of rich consumers to throw money at.

Well, you could always head down and buy yourself a Leaf or one of those Mitsubishi plug-ins. Those Toyota Aqua hybrids are worth a look, word is there will be a plug-in hybrid version along shortly. I rented a Fit Hybrid a while back, not bad for the price. Speaking of, still no word on the Honda Hydrogen car pricetag.

You'll get a government subsidy when you buy any one of those - not just in Japan, either.

If you buy the Tesla S (whenever it hits the market here) you'll get 85man back plus reduced taxes (a better deal than in the USA). Should they scrap that as well, just because it's an upscale car?

Personally I'm holding out to see what the Nissan/Ford/Renault team come up with on their Fuel Cell venture. Last I heard they were shooting for a 2017 reveal, but it looks like Abe's plans have shaken the market up a bit. Maybe we'll get a glimpse around 2016 - be some nice timing with the Hybrid GTR release.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As mentioned previously, if the new battery technology developed by Tokyo University and published just last week is proven, it will render fuel cells more or less obsolete. For fuel cell cars to be viable, large scale hydrogen production will have to be implemented, and hydrogen fueling stations will have to be built around the country, not to mention setting up a delivery system.

The electricty grid already extends to every part of the country, so the basis for an electric car infrasrtucture already exists. Fuel cells may be Toyota's "Betamax", and is the typical Japanese response to avert competing against a type of technology by developing an alternative, even if it is silly.

As for healthcare or solar, subsidies may appear to make these less expensive, but the opposite is the case. Subsidies distort the market for such things, which would have been less expensive otherwise. Before the days of subsidized healthcare, the cost of treatment increased at roughly the same rate as inflation. Once subsidies began, prices skyrocketed, and continue to do so. Regarding solar, my home is entirely solar powered, I built the system myself, and sourced the parts myself. My system cost less than the subsidized price, without asking for subsidies. Subsidies are a form of graft, a favor granted to a provider which will be repaid by another favor in the future. Many end up paying for something which benefits few.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@sangetsu03

Not sure why you think batteries and fuel cells are competing technologies - most fuel cell vehicles are effectively hybrids.

Better battery tech means better range all around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hydrogen power subsidies?

How about subsidies for solar power????

Where are those?

Oh, sorry free uncontrolled power is not on the political agenda is it......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kurisupisu

How about subsidies for solar power???? Where are they?

Start here; http://www.meti.go.jp/english/policy/energy_environment/renewable/

Your solar panel supplier should have more info for you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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