Honda, Toyota, Nissan And Hyundai Plan Nordic Fuel-Cell Splurge

Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai have inked an agreement with various Nordic countries to splay fuel-cell infrastructure – and the cars to take advantage of it – across the region starting from 2014. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a combination public and private companies and organizations in Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark will see zero-emission vehicles and a hydrogen distribution network set up by 2017, following similar agreements in Europe.

As well as the four car companies, three hydrogen infrastructure firms are onboard: HyOP AS of Norway, and H2 Logic A/S and Copenhagen Hydrogen Network A/S both of Denmark. Meanwhile five non-governmental organizations – NyNor Norway, Hydrogen Sweden, Icelandic New Energy, Hydrogen Link Denmark Association, and the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership – are also signees of the MoU.

Honda already has a fuel-cell vehicle on US and Japanese roads, with the Honda FCX being supplied to roughly two dozen private lessees, including private business owners, lawyers, educators and others. Earlier this year, meanwhile, Honda revealed its next fuel-cell vehicle would launch in 2015, with "significant cost reductions" promised.

Whether Honda, Toyota, Nissan, or Hyundai will be offering fuel-cell cars to individual drivers or prioritizing fleet sales and rentals is unclear at this stage. Even with the MoU in place, there is still plenty of work to be done to actually equip the four countries with suitable hydrogen infrastructure.