Fuel-cell cars begin demo run

Kyodo News

Three Japanese-made vehicles powered by fuel cells set out Wednesday on a 1,100-km run from Tokyo to Fukuoka to demonstrate they can go as far as gasoline-powered cars per fill-up.

The FCHV-adv of Toyota Motor Corp., the X-Trail FCV of Nissan Motor Co. and the FCX Clarity of Honda Motor Co. drove off after executives from the companies and senior government officials held a ceremony at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

“The government will marshal its resources to bring about a low carbon emission society. We hope that fuel-cell vehicle prices will be lowered to allow their widespread diffusion among Japanese people,” senior Vice METI Minister Tadahiro Matsushita said.

The demonstration project for the vehicles, which do not emit carbon dioxide, was organized by the Japan Automobile Research Institute and three other organizations.

The vehicles were scheduled to arrive in Kitakyushu on Thursday afternoon after being refueled twice during the journey. The drivers were to spend the night in Osaka, where they were scheduled to pay a courtesy call to the Osaka Prefectural Government.