TOKYO, March 5 (Reuters) - At least 11 Japanese companies, including JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy and Toyota Motor Corp, set up a joint venture to accelerate the construction of fuel stations for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in the country.
The venture, called Japan H2 Mobility, LLC was established on Feb. 20, aims to build 80 hydrogen stations in the first four years. They plan to expand further in six years in line with the government’s goal to increase usage of hydrogen, the companies said.
Japan is betting heavily on becoming a “hydrogen society” despite the high costs and technical difficulties. The government has set a goal to have 160 commercial hydrogen stations and increase the number of FCVs to 40,000 by March 2021.
Japan has about 90 stations, of which at least 40 are operated by JXTG Nippon Oil.
Other companies involved in the venture include Nissan Motor , Honda Motor, Idemitsu Kosan, Iwatani Corp, Tokyo Gas, Toho Gas, Air Liquide Japan Ltd, Toyota Tsusho and Development Bank of Japan. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)