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Japan has lofty ambitions to become a "hydrogen society" where homes and fuel-cell cars are powered by the emissions-free energy source, but observers say price and convenience are keeping the plan from taking off.Toyota's hydrogen car, Mirai – which means "future" in Japanese – launched in 2014, after two decades of tireless research.A Mirai fuel-cell vehicle costs 6.7 million yen, or about $55,000, nearly double a comparable electric car. Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction, which produces electricity. Building hydrogen stations is two or three times more expensive than in Europe or the U.S., he said.Abe has laid out his vision for a hydrogen market worth 1 trillion yen annually by 2030 .Colorless and odorless, hydrogen is extremely light and takes up a lot of space so it has to be compressed before it is transported and stored, which adds to costs.Japan has said it would like to produce totally green hydrogen through electrolysis, where the electricity comes from renewable sources such as water, solar or hydraulic, as opposed to gas or oil.
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