Hydrogen fueled cars visit Cleveland

NEW technology in the form of cars powered by hydrogen has been showcased in Cleveland.

The Toyota Mirai was available for test drives and a Hyundai Nexo was also on view.

Hydrogen Mobility Australia chief executive Claire Johnson said the benefit of the cars, which only emit water vapour, was the short time to refuel and an 800 kilometre range.

Ms Johnson said they had been holding events in Queensland and talking to government about hydrogen refuelling stations.

Ms Johnson said there was just two hydrogen refuelling station in Australia.

“One is at Hyundai’s head office in Sydney and the other is owned by Toyota and is a mobile hydrogen refuelling station on the back of a truck,” Ms Johnson said.

As an association Hydrogen Mobility Australia was working towards building infrastructure across Australia.

Ms Johnson said the technology could be used for cars, buses, trains, trucks and equipment such as forklifts.

READY TO DRIVE: Harold Waring of Victoria Point, Gary Crighton of Cleveland, Hydrogen Mobility Australia chief executive Claire Johnson, Veronique Gineste of Cleveland and Bowman MP Andrew Laming with a hydrogen fueled car. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

READY TO DRIVE: Harold Waring of Victoria Point, Gary Crighton of Cleveland, Hydrogen Mobility Australia chief executive Claire Johnson, Veronique Gineste of Cleveland and Bowman MP Andrew Laming with a hydrogen fueled car. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

The Nexo is expected to be on sale in Australia from the end of the year.

Ms Johnson said the Mirai, available in Japan, the United State, Europe and the United Kingdom, was priced at about US$57,000.

“There is a price premium on the new technology,” she said.

“The volumes are low at the moment. There have been about 7000 hydrogen fueled cars sold worldwide.”

She said they anticipated price parity with petrol and diesel cars would be reached in future.

On Wednesday, ultra-high purity hydrogen, produced in Queensland using CSIRO technology, was used to refuel the two cars.

CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said the membrane technology would pave the way for bulk hydrogen to be transported in the form of ammonia, using existing infrastructure, and then reconverted back to hydrogen at the point of use.

”It has the potential to fill the gap in the technology chain to supply fuel cell vehicles around the world with low-emissions hydrogen sourced from Australia,” Mr Marshall said.

“This (the technology) means that the transportation and storage of hydrogen – currently a complex and relatively expensive process – is simplified, allowing bulk hydrogen to be transported economically and efficiently in the form of liquid ammonia.

“This is a watershed moment for energy, and we look forward to applying CSIRO innovation to enable this exciting renewably-sourced fuel and energy storage medium a smoother path to market.”

The technology will be demonstrated on a larger scale around Australia and abroad.