The Queensland Government has announced a commitment to take-up hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) for their vehicle Fleet.

Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk said the FCEVs would be integrated into QFleet as part of the government’s Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024 which is pushing for hydrogen production in Australia as a clean energy that can provide jobs and new export opportunities.

“We’re ensuring Queensland is at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia,” said Ms Palaszczuk.

“Globally, the race is on for hydrogen to be a new way of transporting clean energy that can provide secure jobs, new industries and export earnings.”

The trial will include FCEV’s from Toyota and Hyundai.

“The FCEVs are a highly visible way that we can demonstrate the range of applications of renewable hydrogen and raise community awareness about the safe and sustainable use of hydrogen,” said Mick de Brenni, Minister for Housing and Public Works.

“We are looking forward to including Hyundai and Toyota vehicles in the trial as they are at the forefront of fuel cell technology.”

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said that the infrastructure in Queensland combined with our export facilities, solar resources and land mass, created very favourable criteria for the establishment of a hydrogen industry. He added that gas and engineering company BOC would supply the renewable hydrogen to fuel the vehicles and install a hydrogen refuelling station at QUT, Brisbane.

BOC recently commenced a Queensland-first renewable hydrogen project at its production facility in Bulwer Island, Brisbane.

The $3.1 million end-to-end renewable hydrogen supply project received $950,000 funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is supported by the Queensland Government.

BOC will install a 220kW electrolyser supplied by ITM Power and 100 kW solar array to produce renewable hydrogen through electrolysis at its Bulwer Island site. The electrolyser will have capacity to produce up to 2,400 kilograms of renewable hydrogen per month to power FCEVs and supply BOC’s industrial customers.

“The Palaszczuk Government has been working with BOC and QUT to deliver both the renewable hydrogen plant at Bulwer Island and the development of a hydrogen vehicle refuelling station in Brisbane, which will allow the FCEVs to be integrated into QFleet,” said Minister Dick.

The move to back FCEV technology is supported by MTA Queensland.

“We have been actively supporting the potential for hydrogen for the last few years, particularly as a new fuel source,” said Dr Brett Dale, CEO of MTA Queensland Group. “Earlier this year we engaged industry experts at our Carmageddon symposium to lead panel discussions on new fuel technologies. Hyundai Senior Manager Scott Nargar attended this event and showcased the Hyundai NEXO FCEV, which only emits water as a by-product.
“The hydrogen is dispensed in a similar way to petrol, where a car enters a service station and refuels in approximately the same amount of time as a petrol car. The energy produced by hydrogen drives the electric motor. This is an advantage over the time taken for an Electric Vehicle (EV) to charge.”
To complement this, CSIRO has developed technology that can assist with the safe and effective transportation of hydrogen via its conversion from ammonia. The ammonia can be transported using existing infrastructure and this creates another commercial opportunity, enabling Australia to become a renewable energy leader.

“The automotive industry is pleased to see the government’s commitment to supporting all forms of clean fuel, and in particular hydrogen development, to compliment a wider mix of options,” said Dr Dale.

“We do not foresee the push for FCEVs having any negative impact on the EV market. It would actually complement the variety of options available for a consumer. The higher the uptake of new, clean fuel technologies the better for business opportunity, jobs, new skill sets and sustainability in providing for the world’s future energy needs. Indeed, the technology has great potential, but presently the cost is prohibitive and further development is essential to reduce cost in the future.”

Original source: Motor Trader Magazine (September 2019)

11 Sept 2019

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