Here's a story that certainly plays to stereotypes: a new network of hydrogen refueling stations being built in Japan are the work of, surprise, oil companies. As The Japan Times reports, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and 12 other companies – including automakers – are working together to establish about 100 new H2 stations, mostly in major cities.
For its part, the government is ready to "provide financial assistance and is considering deregulation," The Japan Times writes, in part because it can cost up to six times as much to build a hydrogen station as it does a gas station. JX Nippon Oil installed the first of its planned 13 stations in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, last month.
Two Japanese automakers, Honda and Toyota, have long been bigger fans of hydrogen than pure electric vehicles. Honda has been leasing the FCX Clarity (pictured) for years and Toyota is working on a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for 2015. Hyundai, BMW, Daimler, Nissan and General Motors are among the automakers also publicly active in readying H2 vehicles for the near future.