Iwatani, a Japanese industrial gas company, has announced extended opening hours of its hydrogen (H2) refuelling stations due to increased customer usage.

The majority of its facilities are now open until 10pm on weekdays, compared to previously closing at 5pm, and they are now open until 5pm on Saturdays, meaning opening times have extended by five and four hours respectively.

In a press release, the company stated, “With many customers taking advance of H2 stations and steady progress being made towards the realisation of a H2 energy-based society, Iwatani is pleased to announce that it has extended the business hours at some of its H2 refuelling stations as a measure to further boost convenience for customers using the stations.”

Iwatani is pleased to announce that it has extended the business hours at some of its H2 refuelling stations as a measure to further boost convenience for customers using the stations

The sites will remain closed on Sundays but, looking ahead, Iwatani will revisit extending business hours for added customer convenience and will also consider telephone-based bookings.

Iwatani has opened 16 facilities throughout four metropolitan areas in Japan to date, but the company plans to open further stations throughout Amagasaki-shi in the Hyogo Prefecture, Kitakyushu-shi in the Fukuoka Prefecture, Minato-ku and Ota-ku in Tokyo, and Kariya-shi in the Aichi Prefecture.

The corporation has been developing a H2 refuelling infrastructure throughout the North Pacific rim country as the rollout of publicly-available fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) accelerates.

Recently, Iwatani was the first Japanese company to attach H2 refuelling stations to both the Kansai International Airport and Seven-Eleven convenience stores.