Toyota, Japan’s Fukuoka city team up for a ‘hydrogen society’ – gas from sewage for fuel cell vehicles

Toyota, Japan’s Fukuoka city team up for a ‘hydrogen society’ – gas from sewage for fuel cell vehicles

Yatai in Fukuoka, pic from Yokonavi

It’s probably not 100% true, but it does seem like the entire auto industry is putting its eggs into the electric basket, forsaking other routes towards carbon neutrality. All, except for the world’s biggest carmaker. Toyota’s vision of the future of motoring has always been hydrogen (the Mirai FCEV, now in its second generation, is a rare FCEV that one can buy in showrooms) and the giant isn’t giving up yet.

You might have read about Toyota recently wheeling out a hydrogen combustion engine-powered GR Yaris (just like a gasoline-powered ICE, but using hydrogen instead of petrol), and here’s further development on the hydrogen front in its homeland. Toyota and the city of Fukuoka have signed a partnership agreement aiming for the early realisation of a hydrogen society.

Both parties will work closely with Commercial Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT), which works on commercial projects, to promote a wide range of collaborative initiatives to achieve the goal. As a first step, they have commenced discussions regarding the introduction of fuel cell vehicles.

From L-R: This GR Yaris has a hydrogen combustion engine; the second-gen Mirai FCEV

The main city of Japan’s Kyushu island, famous for its Hakata ramen (I didn’t have to add this of course, but food is life), is somewhat of a hydrogen pioneer, having focused on the energy source from an early stage and initiated the Hydrogen Leader City Project.

As part of the project, the city launched the world’s first initiative to produce hydrogen from public household sewage and supply it to fuel cell vehicles. It was also the first city in Japan to undertake various verification tests for trucks and motorcycles equipped with fuel cell tech.

Fukuoka and Toyota have held numerous talks about making hydrogen more familiar to the city’s residents, and encouraging its sustainable and practical use. In fact, their first collaboration in the field was in November 2021 during the final round of the Super Taikyu Series. In that race, Toyota used hydrogen produced from the city’s public household sewage to power its race cars. Not too different from petrol, as you can hear here.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Fukuoka city and Toyota in cooperation with CJPT will discuss a range of other hydrogen-related topics. Among them are developing and using vehicles that can support social infrastructure and creating logistics models for them, using hydrogen energy at resident-centered facilities and events, and revising the regulations required for realising a hydrogen society.

To begin with, discussions are being held on the use of FCEVs for school meal delivery trucks and the city’s garbage trucks, as well as deploying mobile power generation and supply systems.

Going forward, Fukuoka, Toyota and CJPT will work together to develop and verify technologies related to producing, transporting, and using hydrogen. By helping to expedite the implementation of these technologies, the aim is to build a society in which hydrogen plays a major role. They also plan to actively engage in initiatives that contribute to the realisation of carbon neutrality both in Japan and around the world.

More on Toyota chief Akio Toyoda’s views on EVs and carbon neutrality here.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Sam Loo on Feb 14, 2022 at 5:48 pm

    Toyota is excellent in making city cars and thats main reason for pushing hybrid and hydrogen EV. This way it can still make EVs with as small battery packs instead of heavy ones like in Tesla.

    Good thing that Toyota never gives up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Semi-Value (Member) on Feb 14, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    still think this is a much more viable option than ev’s

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • this EV hypetrain will die sooner or later when the world realize that lithium is a limited resource, plus the carbon footprint from the EV vehicle production chain is no less than the ICE vehicle production and lifetime usage.
    good to see some Toyota is not pressured to follow this non sense trend, and focus on what matters.

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