Toyota hydrogen fuel cell demonstrator vehicles introduced to Australia

Posted on 11 Jul 2016 by Tim Brown

In an effort to increase awareness of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Toyota has introduced three fuel cell vehicles to use exclusively in Australia for the next three years.

The Toyota hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – known as the Mirai – will not only assist Toyota engineers to learn more about what Toyota perceives one of the key future vehicle propulsion technologies, but will also be used for promotional and key stakeholder engagement activities.

Toyota Australia has also revealed that the vehicles will soon be joined by a portable hydrogen refuelling station over the coming months.

The hydrogen refueller will have the ability to be ground mounted or can be attached to a truck to make it mobile. This means the vehicles can be refueled anytime, anywhere, which will ensure the company is not limited in where it takes the Mirai vehicles.

Toyota Australia President Dave Buttner said he was thrilled to welcome the new technology back to the country, after it made it’s maiden journey to be showcased at last year’s World Hydrogen Technologies Convention in Sydney.

“After having a taste of the technology last October, we are incredibly excited to have not one, but three of the fuel cell vehicles back in Australia,” Mr Buttner said.

“We are looking forward to educating a whole new audience on this future technology and generating more awareness of fuel cell vehicles.”

Mr Buttner added that while the Mirai is currently on sale in California, Japan and various countries within Europe, it is not available for commercial sale in Australia due to a lack of infrastructure.

“We are extremely interested in fuel cell technology, but we need the relevant infrastructure in place before we can sell these vehicles in Australia,” Mr Buttner said.

“This will take time to develop so it is imperative that we take a whole of industry approach so that we can move these plans along as quickly as possible.

“Fuel cell technology is expected to play a key role in the future and we do not want Australians to miss out on this.”

One of the many benefits of fuel cell technology is that it is powered exclusively by hydrogen, which is Toyota believes of the most promising alternate fuels for the future. Fuel cell vehicles are also extremely eco-friendly as they emit only water and, unlike electric cars, can be refuelled in only a matter of a few minutes.

Toyota Australia is currently scheduled to display the Mirai vehicles at a number of conferences and events throughout the country over the coming months. The portable refueller is expected to arrive in Australia towards the end of the year.

The Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle is the only other hydrogen car currently in Australia and Hyundai has has the only permanent refuelling station at its Australian headquarters in Sydney. However other car companies, such as Honda, also have fuel cell vehicles that are expected to enter the mainstream market in the coming years, once the necessary refuelling infrastructure has been developed.