May 19, 2017 / 8:22 AM / 10 months ago

Japan to set up venture to expand hydrogen station network

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese companies including JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy and Toyota Motor said on Friday they aim to set up a joint venture this year to expand the nation’s fuel station network for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

A man looks at the inside of a Honda Clarity, Honda Motor's first mass-market fuel-cell vehicle after its presentation at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Japan is betting heavily on becoming a “hydrogen society” despite the high costs and technical difficulties. Last year, the government set a goal to have 160 commercial hydrogen stations by 2020/21 and 320 stations by 2025/26.

Japan currently has about 90 stations, of which 40 are operated by JXTG Nippon Oil. A spokesman for JXTG Nippon Oil said the new venture will aim to achieve the government’s goals.

Other companies involved in the venture include Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, Idemitsu Kosan, Iwatani Corp, Tokyo Gas, Toho Gas, Toyota Tsusho and Development Bank of Japan.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Tom Hogue

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