Honda FCEV Hydrogen Concept

With the two main Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, leading the charge for hydrogen vehicles (along with Korea's Hyundai), we shouldn't be too surprised that the Japanese government is supporting the technology big time. We knew the national government is ready to kick in the equivalent of $20,000 for a new FCV, but now we learn that at least one prefectural government is ready to chip in another substantial sum: $10,000.

Yes, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, Aichi prefecture is considering hydrogen fuel cell vehicle incentives worth around one million yen (just under 10,000 US) on top of the two million already discussed. Various government and stakeholder groups are also pledging to install around 100 hydrogen refueling stations in Japan. In Japan, national incentives for electric vehicles only climb to around $8,500.

According to the SMH, lopping $30,000 off the price of Toyota's new, $69,000 hydrogen car means a roughly 40 percent discount and is enough to drop the price of the newfangled car into the same category as a luxury hybrid like the Lexus CT200h in Japan. No price for hydrogen cars has been announced in the US (where we offer a $4,000 incentive), but can you imagine how popular current plug-in vehicles would be with a $30,000 discount? Whew. Oprah would make sure we all get a Tesla.