Aberdeen City Council’s ambitious hydrogen programme is set to reach an even wider audience with the addition of the first two cars available for public use.
The Toyota Mirai models will join the Co-wheels Car Club fleet in the city and will be available for club members to hire through the online booking system.
The Mirai, winner of the World Car Awards’ green car of the year award, uses hydrogen fuel cell technology to enable long-distance emission free motoring – with a range of about 300 miles.
The cars, which are all right-hand drive, have received EU Interreg North Sea Region funding through the Hydrogen Transport Economy (HyTrEc)2 Project in which Aberdeen City Council is a partner. This is part of the Aberdeen City Region Hydrogen Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025 to develop a hydrogen economy in the region.
The distinctive cars are already becoming a familiar sight on the Aberdeen roads, with the council already using the Mirai as part of its fleet.
The two new additions to the public Co-wheels hire will be stationed at Gallowgate Car Park and East Craibstone Street from 1 April.
Aberdeen has two hydrogen refuelling stations, at Kittybrewster and Cove, to support the growing fleet of cars, buses, and commercial vehicles operating in the city as part of the innovative programme.
Councillor Philip Bell, Aberdeen City Council’s operational delivery vice convener, said: “The latest additions to the fleet is another positive step forward for hydrogen in the city and demonstrates the commitment to embrace a clean, green and sustainable technology.
“Toyota has been at the forefront of research and development of hydrogen as a fuel of the future and it is fantastic to see vehicles being pressed into everyday use.
“Having embraced the opportunities from an early stage, Aberdeen is already leading the way and we’ll continue to look for opportunities to maximise the potential of the investment that has been made in infrastructure and vehicles and encourage the local supply chain to seize opportunities in the energy transition.”
Co-wheels Car Club Scotland Manager Tony Archer said: “Co-wheels is delighted to be building on the work we have been doing in Aberdeen in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, to roll out access to hydrogen cars.
“This deployment represents the first public hire Toyota Mirai in the UK and is a milestone that has been long awaited by many of our Aberdeen members eager to try out hydrogen cars.”
Co-wheels will also be adding a third new Toyota Mirai to its growing fleet of hydrogen vehicles in Aberdeen with a car entering service at Robert Gordons University where it will join existing staff pool car fleet operated by Co-wheels.
Vicki Nairn, Vice Principal for Corporate Operations at RGU, said: “We are delighted to unveil the Toyota Mirai hydrogen vehicle as part of the Co-Wheels fleet at Robert Gordon University.
“The university is fully committed to reducing its carbon footprint and this development represents our ongoing work to implement appropriate environmental programmes to deliver a truly sustainable campus – as well as driving down the cost of business travel within the city.”
The H2 Aberdeen initiative has established the city as a leader in the adoption of the technology, with one of Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet operating in the city. The world’s first dual fuel hydrogen street sweeper is also in use in Aberdeen.
More information about how to join the Co-Wheels Car Club is available from www.co-wheels.org.uk.