What happened: Automakers FAW and Higer Bus will use Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology, with Shanghai-based Re-Fire Technology acting as a local supplier. Re-Fire will serve as the systems integrator and develop fuel-cell powertrain tech that the automakers can use in their buses. FAW already has a joint venture with Toyota, as well as Mazda and Volkswagen.
Why it’s important: China is the largest electric vehicle market in the world. Japanese automakers are looking to the country to promote hydrogen-powered vehicles, believing them to be far superior. China is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide in the world. Toyota is betting its partnership with the Chinese manufacturers will help to push adoption in the country, as the only byproduct of hydrogen vehicles is water. South Korea’s Hyundai and Germany’s Daimler have also been attempting to promote the technology, but have been largely unsuccessful because of the price of these vehicles and lack of refueling infrastructure.