Toyota Tsusho plans hydrogen station network

Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Air Liquide Japan will establish a joint venture, Toyota Tsusho Air Liquid Hydrogen Energy Corporation, to build Japan’s first commercial network of hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles.

Jun Karube, Toyota Tsusho’s president & CEO, and Etienne Lepoutre, the president of Air Liquide Japan, signed an agreement in Nagoya to establish a joint venture to build and operate the network. Toyota Tsusho will own 51% of the joint venture, and Air Liquide Japan will hold a 49% stake. The as-yet-new joint venture is scheduled to open its first two hydrogen stations by the end of 2014 in Nagoya and in nearby Toyota City.

Japanese automakers have announced plans to begin marketing fuel cell vehicles in 2015, and Toyota Tsusho and Air Liquide Japan are seeking a head start in building infrastructure to serve those vehicles. Toyota Tsusho aims to contribute to the development of the Japanese fuel cell vehicles infrastructure by accumulating results and know-how through the operation of the two hydrogen stations.