• Kyodo News

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Gas suppliers and oil companies say they will seek to build some 100 hydrogen supply stations at four major city areas to prepare for the launch of mass-produced hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles in 2015.

The four areas in which hydrogen fueling stations will be set up center on Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka.

A total of 10 energy companies made the announcement in a recent statement jointly issued by Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., signaling their coordinated efforts to expand next-generation environmentally friendly vehicles in Japan.

“Automakers and hydrogen fuel suppliers will work together to expand the introduction of fuel-cell vehicles and develop the hydrogen supply network throughout Japan,” the statement said, while also calling on the government to support their efforts.

Fuel-cell cars run on electricity generated by the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, and developing the necessary infrastructure is essential to ensure the vehicles are widely used.

But infrastructure costs are high, with about ¥600 million required to build a single hydrogen fueling station, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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