Hydrogen-powered cars just got a much-needed leg up. Toyota, BMW, Diamler, Honda, and Hyundai have joined oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Total SA in a plan to invest $10.7 billion (€10 billion) in hydrogen-related products in the next five years. Currently, annual investments towards hydrogen-related technology amounts to about $1.5 billion.
Apart from the five automakers mentioned above, a total of 13 companies are part of the newly formed Hydrogen Council, all of which have plans to consult with policy makers in an effort to transition from less eco-friendly energy sources to hydrogen. The council hopes to further prove that electric batteries aren’t the only alternative.
"In addition to transportation, hydrogen has the potential to support our transition to a low-carbon society across multiple industries and the entire value chain," Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s chairman and a council co-chair, said in a statement.
Toyota, together with the new council, says that it can reduce 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from its lineup by the year 2050. In doing so, the company will release a convoy of hydrogen fuel-cell big rigs, and increase infrastructure of hydrogen fueling stations for its new Mirai, the majority of which are located in California.
Already, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai, have applied the technology to its lineup with cars like the Mirai, Clarity, and Tucson. The new investment, these companies hope, will continue to build up the surrounding infrastructure and improve sales nationwide and around the world.
"The Hydrogen Council will exhibit responsible leadership in showcasing hydrogen technology and its benefits to the world. It will seek collaboration, cooperation and understanding from governments, industry and most importantly, the public," said Uchiyamada. "At Toyota, we have always tried to play a leading role in environmental and technological advances in the automotive industry, including through the introduction of fuel cell vehicles."