Olympic Hydrogen. - H2vector
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Olympic Hydrogen.

Olympic Hydrogen.

During the Olympic Games in Japan, a fleet of 100 hydrogen-powered buses built by Toyota Motor Corp. will take visitors between the diverse Olympic venues. Toyota Motor Corp and Beiqi Foton Motor Co plan to operate over 1000 hydrogen buses during the Winter Games that will be held in Beijing in 2022. This will be a step forward in the use of zero-emission technologies.

“Hydrogen still has this image of being dangerous – that it might explode – and our aim with the Olympics is to erase this image,” said Masaaki Ito, Toyota’s general manager of its Olympic and Paralympic division.

The company will also provide 500 Mirai sedans to drive officials between the venues of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “We want to expose the technology to as many people as possible,” Ito said.

Toyota is developing delivery trucks and big rigs with the support of the government that sees hydrogen as a key to reducing the oil reliance of Japan. Both share the vision of a “Hydrogen Society” where homes and vehicles will be powered by fuel cells that turn the gas into electricity.

By now, there are already 15 buses in operation. The fact that buses follow fixed routes, makes it easier to plan the hydrogen stations that service these vehicles. Nowadays, 3400 FCVs (Fuel Cell Vehicles have been sold and 109 hydrogen stations have been built.

“China is actually moving ahead a lot faster and although they suffer the same issue with the lack of refuelling infrastructure, China has shown in the past that they can get infrastructure done pretty quickly,” said Janet Lewis, head of Asian auto research at Macquarie.

Toyota has also announced a deal to supply fuel cell systems to Caetanobus from Portugal.