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Toyota presses Australia to promote the roll-out of hydrogen fuel stations

2021-03-29
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On Monday, Toyota Motor Corp unlocked its first commercial hydrogen fuel pump site in the Australian state of Victoria, forcing the government to motivate the rollout of more sites to accelerate the take-up of cleaner cars.

The automaker is introducing 20 of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars to Australia in April, placing them together to gain feedback on how they run. The site west of Melbourne is also its largest globally in terms of manufacturing, storing, and dispensing hydrogen.

It is the second such fuel station in Australia standing after ActewAGL the previous week started selling hydrogen produced by France’s Neoen in a trial for 20 Hyundai Nexo sport utility vehicles which is owned by the Australian Capital Territory government.

Fuel cell vehicles remain a niche segment globally in the middle of concerns about fewer fuelling stations, resale values, and the danger of hydrogen explosions.

Mostly in Japan and the United States, Toyota had already sold nearly 10,000 Mirai vehicles

In Australia, refuelling infrastructure has been one of the biggest challenges and even now it is to present pioneering vehicles such as the Mirai, and this is an important step forward to identifying that, announced Matthew MacLeod who is Toyota Australia’s manager of future technologies and mobility.

Australia is seen as a sluggard in the global drive in eliminating carbon emissions from the transport sector, with no targets or subsidies for cleaner vehicles, even for hybrid or battery electric vehicles, in stark contrast to most other rich nations.

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

At the site, Toyota is making use of rooftop solar to power an electrolyser to split water, by producing 80 kilograms a day of hydrogen for the fuel pump. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has given almost half of the funds for the A$7.4 million ($5.7 million) project.

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