Tech Nov 30, 2015 10:33 PM EST

Bureaucracy hinders Japan's plan to create the world's cleanest car

By Staff Writer

Bureaucracy is hindering Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ambitions to make his country the leader of clean, eco-cars.

One major challenge that stops this goal from happening is Honda's Smart Hydrogen Station being put on hold. This is due to the slow and lengthy process of the government authorities to issue a final regulation on these fueling facilities, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are slow to implement rules that would regulate smaller fueling facilities. Due to this, about 100 local governments are still waiting for the implementation of the rules before ordering Honda's Smart Hydrogen Stations, which are supposed to repower hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars. Honda's Clarity Fuel Cell sedan would benefit a lot if the regulations are implemented.

"We are very confused and baffled by the slowness and difficulty of the regulation review," said Honda smart community planning office head Naoya Toida. "The regulation is strengthening rather than easing."

Prime Minister Abe recognized vehicles powered by hydrogen as the world's best eco car, with the great benefits it gives to the environment. Abe has also promised to ease the rules for these vehicles earlier in 2015 during the endorsement of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Mirai sedan.

Meanwhile, Honda's Clarity Fuel Cell sedan is the latest development the car maker has on its hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology. According to Gizmag, Honda's Clarity is like the typical everyday car. It does not take up too much passenger or cargo space in the car for the complex HFC system.

Hydrogen fueled cars may be very promising because H2O is one of the most abundant element on Earth. However, the process to produce pure hydrogen involves extracting it from methane, which creates carbon dioxide, according to a report by Car Advice.

Honda's new Smart Hydrogen Station (SHS) can produce pure hydrogen through electrolysis, which doesn't emit carbon dioxide, making it the cleanest way to repower HFC vehicles.

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