Japan Platform for Redesign: Sustainable Infrastructure (JPRSI)

Technology Information Related to the Transportation Sector



Climate change is an urgent issue commonly shared by all humanity. Developing countries are facing the challenge of achieving decarbonization while promoting economic development at the same time. In order to realize a decarbonized society, it is important to introduce the policies and measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to deploy carbon neutral technologies in a unified manner.

This page provides the examples of policy, measures and technologies that contribute to decarbonization in the transport sector. (Last update 4 March 2022)

Policies, Measures and Technologies for Decarbonization

Policy Goals

With the Declaration of Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and commitment to the FY2030 goal to reduce GHG Emissions by 46% from the base year FY2013, the transportation sector aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by promoting the policy plans and measures based on the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures.

Breakdown of Japan‘s GHG emissions in the transportation sector

  • The Japanese CO2 emissions related to energy were approximately 1.03 billion [t-CO2] in the national greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal year 2019. The emissions from the transport sector were about 206 million [t-CO2], accounting for about 20% of the total energy-related CO2 emissions.
  • In the transport sector, approximately 60% of the emissions are from passenger transport, and approximately 40% are from freight.
  • According to the transportation modes, about 80% are from road transport including private cars and freight vehicles.

    *From the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES). Greenhouse Gas Inventory Office



Measures for Decarbonization

Measures for Automobiles

Support for introduction of next generation vehicles
  • Policy support includes to promote Electrified Vehicles with advanced environmental performance (EVs, FCVs, PHEV, hybrid vehicles (HVs)), with the target of 100% Electrified Vehicles share in the new passenger car sales by 2035.
  • The policies aim to shift to Electrified Vehicles as much as possible the newly introduced personal, business and public administration cars, garbage collection trucks, taxis, short-distance cargos, etc., and also promote “zero-carbon driving” which combine Electrified Vehicles with renewable energy, hydrogen generated from renewable energy, synthetic energy (e-fuel) etc.
Infrastructure development support
  • In order to decarbonize mobility, assistance is provided to purchase both renewable energy systems and Electrified Vehicles at the same time and to share with the local communities, as a package of introducing business / public administration cars and renewable energy systems.
  • Also, in terms of contributing towards the regional resilience, the charging/discharging devices and external power supply systems are assisted as they can be used as emergency power sources in natural disasters.
Tax incentives
  • “Eco-car tax break” and “green car exception” are the exceptional tax policies to reduce the tax burden for the vehicles with advanced environmental performance.
  • “Eco-car tax break” is applied to the “vehicle weight tax” set forth according to the vehicle weight classes. “Green car exception” is applied to the “vehicle tax” and “light vehicle tax” set forth according to the engine displacement.
  • In October 2019, a financial system “environmental performance reduction” was introduced to reduce the vehicle purchase tax, with preferential tax rates according to the environmental performance
Support for technology improvement and commercialization of next-generation vehicles
  • Policy support includes to promote technological development of cellulose nanofibers, modified lignin, etc. and their social installation, as they are expected to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the weight for the vehicle parts.

Promotion of Public Transportation

Promotion & development of LRT and BRT
  • Policy support includes assistance to install LRT and BRT to shift to public transport with smaller CO2 emissions particularly in the cities in countryside which tend to depend on private cars.​

Measures for the railways, navigation and aviation

Decarbonization of railways
  • In order to promote decarbonizing in the railway sector, policy support includes to introduce advanced energy-saving equipment and equipment for efficient use of energy.​
Decarbonization of navigation
  • In collaboration with the local governments, policy support includes to realize a CO2-saving manufacturing process for the key parts of gas-fuel ships. Japan also deploys such process to other domestic regions, to contribute to the regional decarbonization. Overall, decarbonization in navigation sector is promoted by expanding use of gas-fuel ships.​
Decarbonization of aviation
  • Policy support includes to make use of unused land around the airport to install solar power generation and battery systems to create a renewable energy base. Such systems are combined with the measures to reduce CO2 emissions from the airport facilities, airport vehicles and aircraft, to make carbon neutral airports, and furthermore to enhance both decarbonization and resilience to disasters at the same time.​

Promotion of decarbonized logistics

Streamlining truck transportation
  • Policies include assistance such as subsidy to the EV/HV trucks and buses and charging systems which are currently rather expensive, so that the onset penetration to the market is accelerated. The performance evaluation projects for EV trucks and buses are implemented, to expand their market share.​
Measures at ports and harbors
  • In ports, 99.6% of Japan‘s exports and imports are handled and major part of industries (which account for about 60% of its CO2 emissions) are located. To promote decarbonization of ports, policy assistance is provided to introduce the decarbonization-oriented port systems such as hybrid transfer cranes, hybrid straddle carriers, other cargo handling machinery for container cargo in container terminals, and power supply facilities for ships in berthing.​

Interdisciplinary measures: promotion of the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM)

The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM)
  • Japan established and implemented the JCM in order to appropriately evaluate contributions from Japan to GHG emission reductions or removals in a quantitative manner achieved through diffusion of low carbon technologies, products, systems, services, and infrastructure as well as implementation of mitigation actions in developing countries, as well as to achieve Japan's emission reduction target. Through the JCM, Japan aims to secure a total of approximately 100 million t-CO2 of global emissions reduction and sink up to FY 2030.​

Interdisciplinary measures: transition to a decarbonized lifestyle (transportation sector)

Eco Driving
  • Policy measures include to promote public awareness raising and behavioral changes for the drivers etc. of private cars and personal trucks about eco-driving, which contributes to climate change mitigation.

Action Plan for Promoting Eco-Driving

The liaison meeting for eco-driving dissemination by the four relevant ministries and agencies (*) conduct activities to raise public awareness and improve the environment for eco-driving. So far, “10 Tips for Eco Drive” has been formulated and promoted.

* National Police Agency, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and Ministry of the Environment

  • Policy support includes to mitigate global warming by introducing renewable energy systems and electrified vehicles simultaneously, and to promote car sharing and behavioral changes.
  • Electrifying both public administration / business cars and renewable energy systems decarbonizes mobility, as well as facilitates the community car sharing systems during the resting time.

Technologies for Decarbonization

“Avoid” Technologies

Transit oriented development (TOD)

  • TOD builds the cities based on the public transportation with less dependence on private vehicles. Japan has placed the priority on trains, metros, buses, etc. in its urban development, and hence it has been viewed as one of the TOD developed countries in the world.
  • Kashiwanoha Campus Station aims to building the transportation systems based on the TOD concept as an advanced EST model city. The station also aims to strengthen the urban functions by closely connecting with Kashiwa Station, which is further connected to the Tokyo areas by JR East and Tobu lines.

“Shift” Technologies

LRT, BRT and new urban rail transit system
  • Technologies to improve the public transport services include LRT and BRT. BRT is a bus system with higher-order functions that can ensure fast and on-time delivery and increase transportation capacity by combining articulated buses, bus-only roads, etc.
Light rail transit (LRT), bus rapid transit (BRT), new urban rail transit systems
Source: Toyama City(Japanese Only).
  • Toyama City launched the LRT Project in 2003, to build a “Compact City” centered with the public transportation such as rail and bus connected with the walking districts in the vicinity. The LRV nicknamed “Portram” started operating in April 2006. Its feature is low-step floor.
Light rail transit (LRT), bus rapid transit (BRT), new urban rail transit systems
Source: NIES “Tenbou”(Japanese Only).

“Improve“ Technologies: Zero Emission Vehicles

Electric vehicle (EV)/ EV charging station
  • Electric Vehicle
    Electric vehicles (EV) are vehicles that supply electricity stored in batteries to motors and obtain driving power. With commercialization of EVs and introduction of high-performance batteries, EVs are expected to become a representative of next-generation vehicles that are energy-saving, decarbonizing, and low pollution.
  • EV charging station
    Quick chargers have been installed in convenience stores, roadside stations, highway service areas, shopping malls, and other places where EVs need to be charged quickly. Fast chargers can provide 10-50 kVA of high power and can charge up to 80% in 30 to 60 minutes from low battery.
Electric vehicle (EV)/ EV charging station
Source: NIES "Tenbou"(Japanese Only).
Fuel cell vehicle (FCV)/ FCV hydrogen station
  • Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are one of the electric vehicles powered by fuel cells (FCs) which generate electricity through electrochemical reactions of hydrogen and oxygen.
  • It contributes to both global warming and air pollution mitigations as running FCVs do not emit GHG nor air pollutants.
Fuel cell vehicle (FCV)/ FCV hydrogen station
Source: Ministry of the Environment's efforts for a hydrogen society(Japanese Only).
Fuel cell forklift
  • Fuel cell forklifts are industrial forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Fuel (hydrogen) supply is as easy as gas oil and gasoline. Introducing these next generation technologies is on going as spare batteries, battery storage, and charging devices are not necessary.
Fuel cell forklift
Source: Ministry of the Environment's efforts for a hydrogen society(Japanese Only).
Zero-carbon truck / bus
  • EV trucks and fuel cell trucks are being developed and introduced to reduce CO2 emissions in logistics. The development and commercialization of compact EV trucks (less than 3.5 t) and large fuel-cell trucks for home delivery is underway in Japan. In the field of fuel cell buses, technological development is being promoted to improve power performance, reliability and durability.

Development of Fuel Cell Light Truck Vehicles (Technology Development and Demonstration Project to Strengthen CO2 Emission Reduction Measures in FY2019)

Zero-carbon truck / bus
Source: Tokyo R&D Co., Ltd.
Fuel cell light truck under the commissioned project by Ministry of the Environment (2019)

Monitoring technology

Road traffic measuring equipment system
  • Road traffic measuring systems observe the traffic volume etc. powered by the image recognition technology to analyze the videocam images on the road.