Kanto's first hydrogen filling station opens in Tokyo


The first filling station in the Kanto area for fuel cell cars that run on compressed hydrogen gas opened in Tokyo's Nerima Ward on Thursday.

The station, operated by Tokyo Gas, can handle six vehicles per hour or 50 per day, officials said.

Toyota began selling fuel cell cars in Japan on Dec 15 and is planning to sell them in the U.S. and Europe in mid-2015. In Japan, the sporty-looking, four-door Toyota Mirai sells for 6.7 million yen. Toyota said it hopes to sell 400 in Japan and 300 in the rest of the world in the first year.

Fuel cell vehicles run on compressed hydrogen gas, which in the Mirai's case is stored in two tanks mounted underneath the vehicle. They emit no exhaust, though fossil fuels are used in the production of hydrogen and to pressurize it.

Besides the relatively high cost, buyers will have to contend with finding fuel. Only a few dozen hydrogen filling stations have been built worldwide, though governments are subsidizing the construction of more.

In Japan, about 30 stations will open in regions in and around Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya cities and the northern part of Kyushu island in the south.

Toyota said it already has about 200 pre-orders for the vehicle, mainly government agencies and companies that want to go green, the company said.

The Mirai can travel 650 to 700 kilometers on its two tanks of hydrogen. Hydrogen may be more expensive than gas initially, because there are so few customers but, over time, Toyota expects it will be cheaper to run a car on hydrogen than with gas.

© Japan Today/AP

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This is exciting news!

Would be nice to hear how the emissions stack up to a gasoline engine at a similar size/power level. Anyone?

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According to Toyota, the only emission is water.

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I wonder where they get the hydrogen and why it costs so much?

Its also worth asking how much fossil fuel if any, is being used to obtain the hydrogen?

I also wonder how long it takes to fill the tanks.

It looks like a home station is the way to go. The advantage is that you can use solar all day at home to make the hydrogen, then refill when you get home, but you obviously cannot recharge an electric vehicle directly at home as it would not be at home during the day. Making hydrogen is not the most efficient way to use electricity, but, its free and non-polluting if its solar or wind (excepting the production of the gear).

Also, according to wiki, Japan has 17 hydrogen stations already. Are none in Kanto? I find that hard to believe.

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The story is correct. This station is the first for the Kanto region.

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According to this 15 Dec 2014 article they have had 1,000 orders so far, even though they are planning to build only 700.

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Love these stories perhaps one day all vehicles will emit no pollution, Forward Japan!

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The station, operated by Tokyo Gas, can handle six vehicles per hour or 50 per day

Six does not go into 50 very well. They going to operate each day for 8 hours and 20 minutes? Okay so if they have one refill unit, 10 minutes to refill. If two, then 20 minutes. I guess that is not too bad, but imagine the time savings if the car was designed to just swap out your empty tank for a full one and then they refill it later.

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"In Japan, the sporty-looking, four-door Toyota Mirai sells for 6.7 million yen."

Let me know when the price comes down to about 2 million yen, I'll buy one then.

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