The city of Tokyo plans to spend 45.2 billion yen ($385 million) on fuel cell vehicle subsidies and hydrogen stations for the 2020 Olympics as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to reduce Japan’s reliance on nuclear power.
Bloomberg reports that Japan’s capital will build 35 hydrogen refueling stations and is in negotiations with Toyota and Honda to put 6,000 hydrogen cars on its roads by 2020.
Japan is investing in hydrogen power as it continues to struggle with the aftermath of its worst peacetime nuclear disaster, in 2011. Spending on hydrogen infrastructure comes as Tokyo’s government is under pressure to rein in costs as it prepares to host the quadrennial games.
Japan’s fuel-cell subsidies are bigger than incentives China, the US and Europe are offering for electric vehicle buyers. They are also more than triple of incentives Japan offers buyers of Mitsubishi’s all electric i-MiEV.
Under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s plan, the city is targeting to have 100,000 hydrogen passenger vehicles, 100 hydrogen buses and 80 refueling stations by 2025. Buyers of fuel cell vehicles in Tokyo will be entitled to about 1 million yen of subsidies, on top of the 2 million yen provided by the central government.
Toyota said last week that the automaker was considering increasing production after receiving about 1,500 Mirai orders — 60% of which are from government offices and corporate fleets — in the first month, compared with its target of 400 by the end of 2015.
Toyota delivered its first Mirai FCV to Abe. After a short test drive at his official residence, Abe declared it was “very comfortable” and said he wants “all ministries and agencies to have” the Mirai.
“It’s time to introduce a hydrogen era,” he said.
The Mirai meaning “future” in Japanese will be sold in California and Europe this year, can travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen and refuel in three to five minutes. In the U.S., the Mirai’s sticker price will be $57,500.