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September 07, 2007

“Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Car Caravan Touring across Japan” A nationwide campaign with an army of fuel cell cars, a hydrogen car, and a carrier dedicated for a mobile hydrogen station

Iwatani International Corporation

The Iwatani International Corporation (Headquarters: Osaka & Tokyo, President: Akiji Makino, Capital: \20,000 million) will organize a caravan of company-owned fuel cell cars, a hydrogen car and a carrier that mounts a mobile hydrogen station. The caravan is planned to travel 4,500 km across the nation, from southernmost Tanegashima to northernmost Wakkanai, in 33 days from September 20 to October 22.
The goals are to increase the focus of social attention on clean energy, enhance the position of “hydrogen” as a supremely clean form of energy, and improve understanding of the outstanding capability and nature of hydrogen, while actively offering energy education for children, who will become major players in the next generation, in various areas across Japan. We will expand human and organizational networks, which will be a driving force to realize a hydrogen energy-based society.
[Goal 1: Integration of Human & Organizational Networks]
The caravan is scheduled to travel through the Japanese archipelago, starting from the southern tip of the Tanegashima Space Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) up to Wakkanai in the north via Shiretoko, which was added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a Natural Heritage site. The route was determined in order to emphasize the backbone of modern Japan’s clean energy, emerging when combining the hydrogen transportation route to the nation’s space development site to date, environmentally advanced cities in the nation, National Heritage, and hydrogen supply facilities. The caravan tours, conducted along a belt formed by combining areas where clean energy is of high concern and actively used, offer the chance for as many people as possible to ponder clean energy and hydrogen energy technology, and unifying human and organizational networks as a driving force for the early realization of a hydrogen energy-based society.
[Goal 2: Improvement of understanding of and awareness for hydrogen]
In addition to Goal 1, improving the understanding of the nature, knowledge and high potential of hydrogen, which is apt to be misunderstood, and supporting the education of children, to whom we pass the future, are also intended to increase the focus of society on clean energy and hence the position of “hydrogen” as a supremely clean form of energy.
For more details, the caravan is composed of four vehicles, two company-owned fuel cell cars, a hydrogen fueled car, and a carrier that mounts a mobile hydrogen station. Various events will be held in the visiting areas en route for a period of one month during the “hydrogen energy campaign”, including the test-drive of fuel cell and hydrogen cars, science lessons for children, seminars and exchanges with local NPOs and public administrations. A liquefied hydrogen storage type mobile refueling station, developed in May this year, will join the major events.
The caravan will mainly visit areas where there have been few chances to experience campaigns and events for clean energy or hydrogen energy. Many “hydrogen science lessons” will be held in the course of travel, with a special focus on the Chugoku region, where there will be “hydrogen science lessons” in 11 elementary, junior high and high schools, including some junior high schools in depopulated areas, in cooperation with the local government and with the support of regional organizations such as METI Chugoku and Mazda. The “hydrogen science lessons” will also be supported by “The Information Center for Energy and Environment Education”, an organization that offers practical support for various forms of energy and environment education.
A regional exchange is planned in the World Cultural Heritage site, Iwami City, in the San-in district where industry and environmental protection have been well balanced since days of old. In addition, events will be held in gas production bases, which are not well known to date, but which are potential hydrogen energy supply bases in future, and Sakai City, Osaka which has attracted with its cutting-edge technologies and liquid crystal complex and includes Japan’s largest liquid hydrogen plant.
[Overview of Japanese Archipelago Tour]
Period (planned): September 20 to October 22 (33 days)
Traveling distance: Approx. 4,500 km
Visiting places (planned): Tanegashima Space Center (start), Miyazaki Pref., Kumamoto Pref., Saga Pref., Fukuoka Pref., Yamaguchi Pref., Hiroshima Pref., Shimane Pref., Tottori Pref., Okayama Pref., Hyogo Pref., Osaka Pref., Kyoto Pref., Shiga Pref., Mie Pref., Shizuoka Pref., Yamanashi Pref., Tokyo (halfway), Ibaraki Pref., Iwate Pref., Akita Pref., Aomori Pref., Shiretoko and Wakkani (goal) in Hokkaido district
Vehicles:

Two fuel cell cars (Toyota FCHV, Honda FCX),
A hydrogen-fueled car (Mazda “RX-8 Hydrogen RE”), and
A carrier (HINO) for the mobile hydrogen station
The caravan consists of four vehicles (and a liquefied hydrogen storage type mobile refueling station that participates in major events).

Objectives: A promotional campaign via a caravan of fuel cell and hydrogen cars traveling up the “hydrogen road” through the Japanese archipelago to exploit the road leading to the future of the environment, new clean energy and technology, constructing a large-scale network and improving the understanding of hydrogen.
Sponsors: Iwatani International Corporation (cooperation and cosponsored by regional governments and citizen’s organizations)