Toyota Motor Corp announced a project to test a hydrogen supply network using wind power generation in cooperation with Iwatani Corp, Toshiba Corp, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohoma City, Kawasaki City, etc March 14, 2016.
They will test the effect of reducing hydrogen production cost and CO2 emissions through processes such as the production of hydrogen using wind power generation and the use of hydrogen with fuel-cell forklifts. When a fuel cell-powered forklift is combined with wind power generation, it can potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 80% or more, compared with a gasoline-powered forklift or a forklift powered by commercial electricity, they said.
In the project, water is electrolyzed by using electricity generated at Hama Wing, which is a wind power plant in Yokohama City, to produce hydrogen. The produced hydrogen is supplied to fuel-cell forklifts to operate in vegetable/fruit markets, manufacturing plants and warehouses in Yokohama and Kawasaki cities.
Toyota plans to start operation of the hydrogen supply network in the fall of 2016 on a trial basis and full-scale operation in fiscal 2017. The company is considering commercializing a mass-produced model in about 2030.
"The biggest obstacle in the way of promoting the use of fuel-cell vehicles is the cost of hydrogen," said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota Motor. "If this verification test paves the way for the industrial use of hydrogen, the cost can be lowered through volume production and efficiency improvement."
"The network can also be used for fuel-cell passenger vehicles (including the Mirai FCV)," he continued. "If regulations regarding hydrogen charging are relaxed, we can apply charging equipment right away."