Toyota executive believes refuelling points in the way of hydrogen vehicles

Car manufacturers Toyota believe hydrogen vehicles could soon take to the roads in Australia if the country is serious about investing in the vehicle technology.

Just days after a team of researchers from Australia discovered a method of hydrogen extraction that could make the process cheaper, Toyota Australia vice president, sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, believes there is now only one barrier in the way of hydrogen vehicles becoming available.

“The only thing that’s halting hydrogen now is infrastructure,” said Hanley.

“The technology’s there (but) car companies, government, energy companies, have got to come together to fast-track and accelerate the hydrogen society very quickly. It is a credible option that has absolutely zero emissions.”

There is currently only one hydrogen refuelling station active in Australia at the moment, behind Hyundai’s Sydney head office. However, locations in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane are all expected to open in the next 12 months as state governments expand their investments in growing a hydrogen economy.

Hanley believes hydrogen technology has reached the stage hybrid vehicle technology was at two decades ago but believes hydrogen technology will evolve much more quickly.

“I would argue that hydrogen fuel cell electric is the hybrid electric of 19 years ago. The only change will be this: it’s not going to take 19 years for this type of technology to mature. It will accelerate a lot more quickly, a whole lot quicker than we saw with hybrid electric.”

Currently, the only hydrogen vehicle available in Australia is the Hyundai Nexo but is only available to government fleets with access to a refuelling station. Toyota also has a small number of Mirai vehicles in the country for testing purposes but has not looked at selling the model yet.

But Hanley believes that could change if Australia were to make more refuelling stations available in the future.

“Once that infrastructure is available, certainly we could bring in the second generation Mirai into Australia.”

“I think by 2030, hydrogen will be quite well known and Australia as a country is perfectly resourced for hydrogen. It’s a great opportunity actually.

Original source: Car Advice | Toyota: ‘hydrogen cars are ready, we’re just waiting for refuelling points’

18 Dec 2019

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