/

Toyota to sell fuel cell buses in Japan from early 2017

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will start selling fuel cell buses in Japan from early 2017, gearing up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics when it hopes to introduce 100 or more hydrogen-powered buses mainly in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s transportation bureau plans to use two eco-friendly buses that are powered by Toyota’s fuel cell system developed for the Mirai, the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen vehicle, Toyota said.

The new fuel cell bus can be used as a power-supplying source in times of disasters. Toyota aims to expand the use of fuel cell buses as part of efforts to realize a hydrogen-based society, the automaker said.

Japanese automakers have been trying to promote green cars such as fuel cell vehicles, which run on electricity generated by a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen and only emit water.

Public interest in green energy has grown in Japan since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster.