Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki test run FCV

Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. have started conducting test runs of their hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles (FCV) with the aim of commercializing them in 2015. The driving test, which is part of a government-led feasibility project on hydrogen fuel cells, will include Toyota’s FCHV-adv, Nissan’s X-Trail FCV and Suzuki’s SX4-FCV, while fuel will be supplied by Tokyo Gas Co., Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp. and others. Filling the vehicles with hydrogen takes about five minutes, shorter than the time it takes to charge electric vehicles, according to the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan, a government affiliate in-charge of the feasibility project. For the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles, however, participants in the project have to solve such problems as high manufacturing costs, durability of vehicles and the shortage of hydrogen filling stations. They will make use of the project to work out solutions and to increase the number of hydrogen stations by March 2009, project officials said. (September 13, 2008)