2024 will see the establishment of year-round hydrogen stations by the Japanese trading house Itochu, an important step if lengthy travels in Japan are to be made possible by hydrogen-powered automobiles.
The project will be carried out by Itochu and French gas supplier Air Liquide. Fukushima will host the first hydrogen station open 365 days a year, with additional sites along important thoroughfares to follow.
The primary consumers for these businesses are anticipated to be long-distance truckers and bus drivers traveling on established routes. Operators of bus and truck fleets have been hesitant to switch to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles since there aren’t enough 24/7 hydrogen stations.
By 2030, the Japanese government wants to open 1,000 hydrogen stations. Due to the limited quantity of FCVs and the expensive cost of station construction, there are now just 160 or so.
By utilizing government grants and situating the stations next to Itochu-affiliated gas stations, which will allow some infrastructure to be shared, Itochu and Air Liquide hope to reduce the construction cost.
Around the world, there are more than 700 hydrogen stations, 185 of which were created by Air Liquide.
A hydrogen station may now be built for around half as much as in Japan thanks to a French business.
In order to create a distribution network for hydrogen, Air Liquide and Itochu partnered.
Because each hydrogen station in Japan currently only has one pressure-boosting device, which needs to be shut down for one to two weeks every year so it can be examined, none of them are able to run all year round.
Before hydrogen is loaded into an FCV, the devices raise the hydrogen’s pressure.
Stations require two pressure-boosting devices, each costing up to 500 million yen ($3.6 million), in order to operate every day.
According to Itochu and Air Liquide, the price of the devices has been reduced to the point where a station can install two devices without suffering a financial hit.