Toyota, Fukushima Prefecture plan hydrogen-based city of the future

By Chad Elmore08 June 2021

Reconstruction of Japanese district to focus on hydrogen.

Fukushima Prefecture and Toyota Motor Corp. said they have started discussions with various partners over building a city that makes use of hydrogen and technologies produced in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture.

In order to further promote reconstruction following the district’s triple-disaster (earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident) in 2011, Fukushima Prefecture is focusing on hydrogen and has undertaken the construction of one of the first models for a future hydrogen society.

Hydrogen delivery trucks Isuzu, Hino and Toyota plan to contribute to the building of a new city in Fukushima via their three-company partnership. Fukushima Prefecture, Toyota, and their partners will create an implementation model for hydrogen-based deliveries at supermarkets and convenience stores.

Isuzu, Hino and Toyota plan to contribute to the building of a new city in Fukushima via their three-company partnership. Fukushima Prefecture, Toyota, and their partners plan to create a model for hydrogen-based deliveries at supermarkets and convenience stores, which play a role as essential urban infrastructure and as evacuation areas in times of disaster.

They plan to build an implementation model for a city with a population of 300,000 people, before they apply the model to similar-sized cities nationwide.

The implementation model will make use of hydrogen produced at multiple sites in the prefecture, including Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), introduce several fuel cell (FC) trucks for deliveries, optimize operational management and hydrogen refilling schedules using connected technologies, and carry out energy management that caters to the prevailing local conditions.

In addition, in response to the needs and issues experienced by Namie Town ― where FH2R is located ― and other regions in the prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, Toyota, and their partners will operate FC kitchen cars and medical cars and use hydrogen at stores and plants in Fukushima Prefecture to reduce supply chain carbon emissions.

Following the announcement of Japan’s 2050 Carbon Neutral Goal, Toyota said there is a growing need for initiatives aimed at building sustainable societies that can be passed on to future generations. The partners intend to steadily promote the realization of one of the world’s first hydrogen societies, and of carbon neutrality, by expanding their spheres of cooperation, and taking advantage of the diverse regional characteristics of Fukushima Prefecture.

Participating partners, as of June 4 (in alphabetical order):

  • Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.
  • Aeon Co. Ltd.
  • Isuzu Motors Limited
  • Satonenryo Co. Ltd.
  • Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd.
  • Denso Fukushima Corp.
  • Nemoto Corp.
  • Hino Motors, Ltd.
  • FamilyMart Co., Ltd.
  • Maruto Co., Ltd.
  • York-Benimaru Co., Ltd.
  • Lawson, Inc.
  • Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST

Partner organization

  • New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
Fukushima Prefecture

CASE partnership

In March, Isuzu, Hino and Toyota announced they had agreed on a partnership for commercial vehicles that would combine Toyota’s CASE technologies with the commercial vehicle foundations of Isuzu and Hino. The word “CASE” refers to new areas of connected cars, autonomous driving, shared and electric technological advances.

The companies plan to jointly work on the development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), autonomous driving technologies, and electronic platforms centered on commercial-purpose trucks. 

To promote their partnership, Isuzu, Hino and Toyota established Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corp., a company for planning CASE technologies and services for commercial vehicles based on discussions among its three parent companies.

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