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Now pay attention Bond: Fuel Cell electric vehicles and hydrogen refuelling

Honda has today, along with Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with organisations from the Nordic Countries, to support the market introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure between 2014 and 2017, further highlighting Honda’s commitment to fuel cell electric vehicles as the ultimate zero emission technology.

This collaboration follows last month’s announcement by Honda’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, of the company’s development of an all-new fuel cell electric vehicle for Japan, the U.S. and Europe, to be launched from 2015, which will showcase further technological advancements and significant cost reductions. It also comes off the back of a month-long and high profile Europe Hydrogen Vehicle Road Tour, organised by H2 Moves Scandanavia, which moved across the UK just last week with an event at the UK’s first public-access hydrogen refuelling station based at Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon.

Honda has been engaged in fuel cell Research & Development since the mid 1980s and has been at the forefront of the industry in both R&D and sales of this technology. The MoU signed today seeks to generate further dialogue with public and private stakeholders in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark on accelerating the market introduction of FCEVs and follows an agreement signed by car manufacturers in Europe in 2009, which identified 2015 as a potential point for market introduction in regions where hydrogen refuelling is available.

Commenting on Honda’s involvement in this project, Ken Kier, Executive Vice President, Honda Motor Europe said, “In 2002 Honda became the world’s first carmaker to put a fuel cell car on the road with regular customers, delivering the Honda FCX Clarity to fleet users in the United States and Japan. We want to continue to lead the way for fuel cell technology across the world including Europe. This MoU signifies that commitment.”

The MoU was signed in the presence of the Danish Minister for Transport and the Director of the International Energy Agency, directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology at the 3GF conference in Copenhagen.

Signing Organisations of the Nordic MoU
Car Manufacturers:
Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan), Nissan Motor Co. Ltd (Japan), Honda R&D Europe GmbH (Germany), Hyundai Motor Company (Republic of Korea)
Hydrogen Infrastructure Companies:
HyOP AS (Norway), H2 Logic A/S (Denmark), Copenhagen Hydrogen Network A/S (Denmark)
Nordic NGOs:
HyNor Norway, Hydrogen Sweden, Icelandic New Energy, Hydrogen Link Denmark Association, Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP)

Climate Change and legally binding CO2 reduction targets
Under the Kyoto Protocol and Climate Change Act , the UK has signed a legally binding agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and like other countries, sees the reduction of emissions from vehicles as one objective to achieve this target.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels of the five-year period 2008-2012. The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabalise GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.