Tokyo is spending over $300 million to promote 'hydrogen fuel' - here's what that means


Shinjuku Tokyo Japan

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Shinjuku Street

Tokyo is planning to spend around 40 billion yen - roughly $330 million - to increase the use of hydrogen energy in the country ahead of the 2020 Olympics.


The project is for more than just the Olympics. According to top officials from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the goal is to promote the use of sustainable hydrogen energy in Japan.

The plan actually began when car-maker Toyota announced the launch of the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

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By the year 2020, Tokyo hopes that there will be 6,000 fuel cell vehicles on the road, as consumers buy vehicles from Toyota and Honda.

The fund will be used to build up 35 hydrogen refueling stations near Olympic venues to keep the vehicles fueled. In addition, the city expects to have 100 fuel cell buses operating by that time, helping transport athletes between Olympic venues. It will also be used to promote the vehicles.


By the year 2025, Tokyo's goal is to have 100,000 hydrogen passenger vehicles on the road along with 80 refueling stations, helping pave the way for a "hydrogen society."

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are powered by the electricity created from the combination of the hydrogen in the fuel cell and oxygen from the air. Tanks need to be refilled every 300 miles and are capable of "supplying enough energy to power home essentials in an average house for up to a week," according to executives at Toyota. In fact, the 2016 Toyota Mirai comes with a power-out jack that connects to an associated energy station, capable of generating 150 kilowatt-hours of energy.

Though the use of hydrogen energy seems agreeable to the environment, some experts disagree on how beneficial it really is. Unlike regular gas stations, hydrogen gas stations can be more combustible due to their built-in hydrogen compressors. In addition, the creation of hydrogen from natural gases and fossil fuels only serves to worsen the environmental problems at hand.

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