Toyota puts gas on hydrogen in Australia

Toyota on Monday inaugurated its first commercial station in Australia dedicated to the production and refueling of hydrogen, in Melbourne, in the state of Victoria. At the same time urging the Australian government to encourage the deployment of more sites. The stated objective: to stimulate the adoption of cleaner cars. The whole allowing to make profitable as soon as possible its expensive investments in the field. Let’s not dream …

Hydrogen fueling infrastructure: a major challenge in Australia

“Here in Australia, the refueling infrastructure has been the biggest challenge, and still is, to introduce pioneer vehicles like the Mirai. This is therefore an important step forward to remedy this, ”said Matthew MacLeod, Director of Future Technologies and Mobility at Toyota Australia.

On the Australian site of Altona – formerly dedicated to the production of vehicles – Toyota uses 84 kilowatt solar collectors installed on the roofs and a 100 kilowatt battery to power a 200 kilowatt electrolyser powered by a solar panel. The whole allowing to produce 80 kilograms of hydrogen per day. Enough to power only about 14 Toyota Mirai.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency provided nearly half of the funds for the A $ 7.4 million ($ 5.7 million) project.

Toyota to deploy 20 Mirai in Australia

Toyota will deploy 20 of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars in Australia next April. These will be introduced into fleets for feedback on their operation.

The state of Victoria was not chosen at random. Located west of Melbourne, it is also the largest in the world in terms of the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen.

To date, Toyota has sold some 10,000 Mirai vehicles, mainly in Japan and the United States.

Hydrogen or EV: Toyota does not choose

Asked about his position in the EV and fuel cell debate, Matt Macleod insisted that both could have a place.

“From Toyota’s point of view, we are not focusing on fuel cells, we are focusing on zero emissions,” he said.

“It is too early to choose which zero emission technology is the best or the best. We should adopt all technologies to achieve all sustainability goals. Both technologies have advantages and challenges, ”he added.

According to the “distinguishing advantage” of the fuel cell over electric vehicles is its ability to fill a tank in three to five minutes. The leader, however, did not address the fact that recharging electric vehicles was much cheaper than filling up with hydrogen or gasoline (less than a quarter of the price of gasoline-powered cars in Australia, according to Electric Vehicle Council).

The price of a full hydrogen tank has not yet been set

When asked how much it would cost to refuel the new Mirai, Matthew Macleod said it “will depend on where” you are.

“The cost of hydrogen can be generated for relatively small amounts if there is a renewable energy source. The cost model that we would be looking at is something that is comparable to gasoline or diesel in the short run and then making improvements to reduce costs, ”he said. Adding that in markets where hydrogen fueling was more readily available the cost was in the order of $ 50 to $ 60.

Callachor said the cost of refueling a Mirai in Australia would likely be included in the rental package. The new Mirai is indeed not expected to be marketed to the general public in the country. The vehicle will most likely be leased to organizations with large fleets wishing to reduce their emissions.

2nd dedicated hydrogen service station in Australia

This is the second such service station in Australia after ActewAGL last week started selling hydrogen produced by France’s Neoen in a test of 20 government-owned Hyundai Nexo SUVs. Australian Capital Territory.

Australia seen as a country lagging behind on carbon emissions

Australia is seen as lagging behind in the global drive to reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector. Unlike most other wealthy countries, the country does not have any targets or subsidy measures for cleaner vehicles, even for hybrid or 100% electric vehicles.

However, the government predicts that 26% of new vehicle sales will be electric vehicles in 2030, up from 1% in 2020.

Our opinion, by

Fuel cell vehicles are a niche segment today globally amid concerns about the lack of gas stations, resale values ​​and the risk of hydrogen explosion.

As for Australia, it could above all serve Toyota as a “test platform”.

Sources : Reuters, Toyota, The Driven


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