Toyota Tsusho Corporation (headquarters: Nagoya City; president: Jun Karube) announces that it signed an agreement for exclusive agency in Japan with Oorja Protonics, Inc. (headquarters: California, U.S.A.), a U.S. developer and manufacturer of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), on February 24, 2014 to expand the DMFC business in Japan.
By promoting Oorja Protonics DMFCs systems, Toyota Tsusho is aiming to introduce a new type of electric power supply into Japan. The company will enter Japan's fuel cell market with the exhibit and the launch of DMFC sales at the FC EXPO 2014, an international hydrogen and fuel cell battery exhibition held February 26 through 28, 2014 in Tokyo.
DMFCs use easy-to-transport and handle methanol as a fuel source and generate electricity from the chemical reaction inside the fuel cells. Logistics networks for methanol have already been established in many global markets. DMFCs can therefore be introduced at a lower cost than hydrogen fuel cells, which have gained significant attention in recent years, and are expected to become a stable source of electric power. Technology from Oorja Protonics feature high power generation efficiency and the company's products are already being used in a wide range of applications in the U.S. with high customer satisfaction. In addition to urban environments with an established power infrastructure, the products are being actively promoted in suburban areas without an infrastructure to meet demand for stable power supplies.
Toyota Tsusho has constructed hydrogen stations and taken other initiatives to develop the fuel cell business, which is expected to be a central part of a next-generation power infrastructure. The company plans to further expand its businesses in the renewable energy field.