February 19, 2019
Two Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) have been delivered to AusNet Services and Mondo and Hydrogen Mobility Australia (HMA) as part of Toyota Australia's ongoing hydrogen vehicle loan program.
AusNet Services, Mondo and HMA will use the Mirai FCEVs on road in a range of conditions as part of research into the efficiency, usage and benefits of hydrogen technology.
During the loan periods, which range from one to three months, the Mirai FCEVs will be refuelled using a mobile hydrogen refueller at Toyota Australia's former manufacturing site in Altona in Melbourne's west.
Toyota Australia's Manager of Advanced Technology Vehicles, Matt MacLeod, said the loans to AusNet Services, Mondo and HMA were an opportunity to highlight that the Mirai FCEVs drive just like any other car.
"There is a common misconception that hydrogen-electric vehicles, like the Mirai FCEV, drive differently," Mr MacLeod said.
"Besides making very little noise and emitting nothing but water vapour from the tailpipe the only real difference with the Mirai FCEV is that it uses a different fuel source, hydrogen, for which there is very little infrastructure available here in Australia.
"That is obviously a large hurdle that must be overcome to enable car makers to introduce this technology, especially ahead of impending CO2 regulations.
"That's where the Mirai FCEV loan program is a step in the right direction because these zero-emission vehicles are being used by real people in real world situations," Mr MacLeod said.
AusNet Services Managing Director, Nino Ficca, said hydrogen has a key role to play in Australia's energy future.
"It will not only enhance the way we fuel our vehicles, but also how we utilise energy in our homes and businesses. As owner of both gas and electricity networks, AusNet Services is uniquely positioned to develop hydrogen infrastructure and capitalise on emerging opportunities," Mr Ficca said.
Mondo Executive General Manager, Chad Hymas, said involvement in the Mirai loan program helps raise the profile of hydrogen and further the discussion across sectors.
"Participation in the Toyota Mira loan program demonstrates our continued commitment to the future of renewable energy in Australia," Mr Hymas said.
"With industry leaders such as Toyota, we can take pragmatic steps towards the development of hydrogen as a future fuel. It's an exciting time for both the transport and energy sectors and we're proud to be part of their development."
Hydrogen Mobility Australia CEO Claire Johnson said the Mirai loan program will support HMA's advocacy and education efforts while showcasing fuel cell technology.
"As the industry body for hydrogen, we already know the exciting opportunity these zero-emission vehicles present to Australia, so we're looking forward to sharing this technology with governments across the country and demonstrating the benefits first hand".
"With Australia's transport emissions continuing to rise, vehicles such as the Mirai FCEV present a real solution to reverse this trend. We do however need governments to come on board and support the growth of zero emission vehicles in Australia, including introducing vehicle emissions regulation and coordinating infrastructure. Showcasing the Mirai FCEV as part of these discussions will assist us to move the conversation in the right direction," Ms Johnson said.
Toyota Australia, AusNet Services and Mondo are members of Hydrogen Mobility Australia.
The announcement of the AusNet Services and Mondo and HMA loan programs follow the first Mirai FCEV trial with Hobson's Bay City Council announced last year.
"In November last year, we announced a three month Australian first trial of hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles with Hobson's Bay City Council," Mr MacLeod said.
"That trial has gone very well and we're happy to report that we have extended the trial for an additional two months."
For more information about the Hobson's Bay City Council Mirai FCEV trial, read the full press release here.
The Toyota Mirai offers a driving range of approximately 550km when its two on-board tanks are filled with about 5kg of compressed hydrogen. Refuelling from a commercial site takes just 3 to 5 minutes. The only tailpipe emission is water vapour.
Hydrogen is as safe as any other automotive fuel and, unlike fossil fuels, it does not contribute to global warming during vehicle operation.
It is the most abundant element in the universe and can be produced from almost anything - even sewage sludge - by using a vast array of primary energy sources, including pollution-free solar and wind power.
Mirai, the world's first mass-produced fuel-cell sedan, is sold in Japan, the United States and Europe in areas supported by a refuelling infrastructure.
Toyota Australia's parent company in Japan has been a leader in designing and manufacturing vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago as well as launching the world's first mass-produced fuel-cell sedan, the Mirai, in 2014.
Toyota recently announced a significant acceleration in the development and launch of electrified vehicles including hydrogen fuel-cell, hybrids and battery electric models.
Toyota said it is aiming for electrified vehicles to account for more than 50 per cent of its new-vehicle sales around the end of the next decade. Even sooner, by around 2025, every model would be available as either a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option.
Toyota Australia will continue to work with governments, industry and other key stakeholders to fast-track the development of the refuelling infrastructure required to support the widespread sale of fuel-cell vehicles.
AusNet Services is Victoria's largest energy delivery service, owning and operating approximately $11 billion of regulated electricity and gas distribution and transmission assets that connect into more than 1.4 million Victorian homes and businesses. Through its Mondo business, the company provides a range of contracted infrastructure, asset intelligence and energy services. AusNet Services is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: AST).
Mondo connects Australia's renewables to the grid, maintains electricity, water and gas networks, and supports communities in achieving their energy goals. Mondo is an independent subsidiary of AusNet Services formed by the coming together of Select Solutions and Geomatic Technologies and provides a comprehensive range of services for essential infrastructure.
Hydrogen Mobility Australia (HMA) is a collection of vehicle manufacturers, energy companies, infrastructure providers, research organisations and governments with a mission to make this hydrogen vision a reality. HMA' s vision is a hydrogen society built upon clean and renewable energy technology, including hydrogen powered transport.