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Business

Global industry group to plug hydrogen power

Toyota, Daimler among Hydrogen Council members to work on standards, joint research

DAVOS, Switzerland -- More than a dozen energy, transport and manufacturing companies around the world have announced plans to promote the use of hydrogen power.

The group of 13 companies, including Japan's Toyota Motor and German automaker Daimler, said Tuesday at this year's World Economic Forum that they have launched an initiative called the Hydrogen Council.

Toyota and industrial gas supplier Air Liquide of France will co-chair the council. Other members include Japan's Honda Motor and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, South Korea's Hyundai Motor, German carmaker BMW, French machinery maker Alstom, Anglo-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell and miner Anglo American of the U.K.

The companies will share knowledge and research, seeking new uses for the clean-burning energy, as well as ways to make it more profitable.

Fuel cell vehicles are powered by hydrogen but are not as popular as electric cars. Through cooperation across industries, the group aims to promote fuel cell vehicles. It will also work to develop common industrial standards for hydrogen power.  

Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, speaking at a news conference the same day, called for other companies to join the effort.

The council will encourage investment in startups with advanced hydrogen technologies. It will also press governments to invest in infrastructure development, expanding the distribution network for hydrogen.

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