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2020 Olympians to Use Hydrogen FCVs
Date:2014-05-06

Source From: THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN

 

To showcase Japan’s advanced technology to the world, the Tokyo metropolitan government plans to use hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) to transport athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

 

The metropolitan government plans to set up a strategic council this month, comprised of officials from automakers and others to start a full-scale study on the project using hydrogen—dubbed the ultimate clean energy.

 

FCVs run on a motor powered by electricity generated from a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

 

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. aim to be the first automakers in the world to sell FCVs to general users, beginning in 2015. They are also working on the development of fuel-cell buses with plans to roll them out for practical use in 2016.

 

The central government plans to set up 100 hydrogen supply stations in large city areas across Tokyo as well as Osaka, Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures by the end of 2015.

 

However, the price of an FCV is expected to be about ¥10 million, and supply stations will be established only in large city areas. Under such circumstances, it is unclear how widely the use of FCVs will spread.

 

About 15,000 athletes are expected to take part in the 2020 Olympics. Special lanes connecting the athletes’ village to each competition venue will be established for vehicles transporting athletes and officials involved in the Games.

 

By using FCVs in the Olympics, the metropolitan government will exhibit Japan’s advanced technology in the hopes of selling the products overseas. They will also be promoted to the domestic private sector by aggressively installing supply stations around the athletes’ village.

 

The law requires a 1,500-square-meter site when equipping a gas station with a hydrogen supply station, which poses a problem for Tokyo’s land-strapped gas stations.

 

Taking these factors into consideration, the metropolitan government’s strategic council will hear opinions from automakers and energy-related companies so necessary measures can be proposed to ease the existing regulations.

 

“Hydrogen could become a self-sufficient energy in the future, which would lead to solving energy problems,” a metropolitan government official said. “We’d like to build an athletes’ village that makes us believe a hydrogen-based society is truly coming.”

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