The authorization comes from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and makes Toyota the first company to become a registered manufacturer of 70 MPa (700 bar) hydrogen tanks under Japan’s High Pressure Gas Safety Act, revised in 1997 by METI. Toyota will now be able to increase the efficiency of the process of manufacturing safe high-pressure hydrogen tanks for fuel cell vehicles that ensure customer confidence.
Due to ongoing plans to bring an FCV sedan to market in Japan before April 2015, Toyota applied to register as a container manufacturer in order to be able to self-inspect and manufacture high-pressure hydrogen tanks. To receive approval, a company must meet KHKS 0102, a set of stringent criteria containing 194 requirements set forth by the High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan (KHK), and must demonstrate that it possesses a high-level manufacturing quality management system.
To meet the KHKS 0102 standards, Toyota developed a quality manual and container inspection rules based on its expertise, and established a fully documentable hydrogen tank quality management system that extends to affiliated parts companies. In June, following KHK’s onsite audit of its high-pressure hydrogen tank production process, Toyota was judged to have met the standards. The following month, Toyota submitted an application to request approval from METI.
With this support, Toyota will be able to manufacture tanks using in-house inspectors, without the need of witnessed inspections by KHK. Toyota believes this will lead to improved manufacturing efficiency for high-pressure hydrogen tanks, and to productivity improvements and cost reductions for FCVs.