Energy / Climate Change

December 25, 2006


Five-Year Project to Develop Fuel-Cell-Powered Warehouse Transporter

Keywords: Energy Conservation Government Manufacturing industry Non-manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

Tokyo Gas Co., JFE Container Co. and Kanto Agricultural Machinery Co. have concluded an agreement to jointly develop a fuel cell turret truck (three-wheeled transporters with a flat deck for moving goods around warehouses), it was announced on September 11, 2006. With a subsidy from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the three Japanese companies started a five-year initiative to co-develop a turret truck that takes advantage of the clean operation of fuel cells.

Currently in Japan, about 11,000 turret trucks are being used to move goods around fresh-produce markets and factories. They are typically powered by gasoline engines or electrical motors with chargeable batteries.

Recently, the use of electric vehicles has increased due to environmental concerns, but they have the disadvantage of requiring eight hours to charge batteries for two-hour run. Fuel cell vehicles have major advantages as they can run without emitting pollution and only require several minutes to recharge with hydrogen. The companies expect that the fuel cell turret trucks can succeed in the existing market, and find new markets in the future.

Each company brings special research and development expertise to the project. Tokyo Gas, a fuel supplier, is responsible for developing a hydrogen supply method. JFE Container, a maker of high-pressure gas containers, is developing a cassette-type hydrogen supply system. And Kanto Agricultural Machinery, a turret truck maker, is in charge of developing the trucks.

Posted: 2006/12/25 06:31:40 AM
Japanese version