VW says fuel cell vehicles to stay popular only in Japan

Article by Christian A., on September 10, 2014

Volkswagen Group believes that fuel cell vehicles might not fail to become popular outside Japan, where such units receive up to JPY3 million ($28,500) in subsidies from the government. The group’s Japan President, Shigeru Shoji, told Bloomberg in an interview that the subsidies provided for by the Japanese government might be too high for other countries to offer themselves.

He noted that refueling in Japan will be impractical since handling hydrogen is challenging and building infrastructure will be costly. He said that fuel cells could be another example of the "Galapagos syndrome," referring to Japanese technologies and products that are only popular domestically, but failed to catch on globally.

Shoji’s comments come as Toyota prepares its first production fuel cell car that will be rolled out in its home country before April 2015. It will carry a price of around JPY7 million ($69,000). Shoji is the latest auto executive that has voiced out criticisms against fuel cells, joining likewise critic and Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk.

Both are executives in carmakers who are pursuing different approaches to reducing carbon dioxide footprint left by their vehicles. According to Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett, fuel cell cars offer one of the best solutions to reducing carbon emissions in Japan. He remarked that since fuel cell system costs are still relatively expensive, subsidy support from the Japanese government is needed.

He, however, admitted that that it is “difficult to imagine” that fuel cell vehicles would be widely used in the next few years. Toyota said in June that it is expecting fuel cell vehicles to get demand from Japan, Germany and the state of California as well as the US East Coast.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has drawn a vision for creating a "hydrogen society," in which fuel cells power homes, office buildings, and vehicles.

Topics: vw, fuel cell, japan

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Earlier this month, we learned that France has made moves to ban diesel and gasoline fueled cars by stopping them from entering the city. More than that, they plan to...
by - July 19, 2017
The new 2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII is on the way, but still, all we had been seeing are camouflaged prototypes of the eight generation of this iconic nameplate. Fortunately though,...
by - July 19, 2017
Would you have ever imagined a Mercedes-Benz developing an upscale pickup? We first saw this last October as a concept car and now, the production model of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class...
by - July 19, 2017
Haven’t you ever wondered how Ferrari’s names and numbers were actually derived? As it is Ferrari’s 70th year in the industry, we believe that it’s only fair that we shed...
by - July 18, 2017
Earlier this month, we were getting hints that Hyundai, along with its sister company Genesis, isn’t doing so well in the United States as well as in Europe. So this...
by - July 18, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries