On Monday, following Toyota Motor Corp opening its first commercial hydrogen fuel pump site in the Australian state of Victoria, it urged the government to encourage the rollout of more such sites across the country so as to boost the take-up of cleaner cars.
Next month, Toyota is bringing in twenty of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars to Australia in order to gauge on how they run. The site that it has selected is incidentally its biggest globally in terms of producing, storing and dispensing hydrogen.
The site is the second such facility in Australia after ActewAGL which from last week began selling hydrogen produced by France’s Neoen in a trial for 20 Hyundai Nexo sport utility vehicles owned by the Australian Capital Territory government.
Globally, fuel cell vehicles remain a niche segment midst concerns about a lack of fuelling stations, risk of hydrogen explosions and resale values.
Toyota has sold some 10,000 Mirai vehicles, mostly in the United States and Japan.
“Here in Australia, refuelling infrastructure has been the biggest challenge, and still is, to introducing pioneering vehicles like the Mirai. So this is an important step forward to rectifying that,” said Matthew MacLeod, Toyota Australia’s manager of future technologies and mobility.
The Australian government has projected a 26% adoption rate for electric vehicles in 2030, up from 1% in 2020.
At the inaugural site, Toyota is using rooftop solar to power an electrolyser to split water, producing 80 kilograms a day of hydrogen for the fuel pump.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency provided almost half of the funds for the A$7.4 million ($5.7 million) project.
($1 = 1.3091 Australian dollars)