Toyota New Zealand has become one of the first vehicle manufacturers to join the recently established New Zealand Hydrogen Association.
Hydrogen fuel cell development is a key component of Toyota’s commitment to alternative fuel sources and sustainable motoring.
Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Alistair Davis said joining the new Hydrogen Association was a first step towards developing an eco-system for hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in New Zealand.
“Toyota is at the forefront of developing and marketing hydrogen-fuelled vehicles with the Mirai FCEV car now available to Japanese, European and Californian drivers,” Mr Davis said.
“By joining the Hydrogen Association, we look forward to supporting and progressing the use of hydrogen in New Zealand as a low emission fuel source.”
New Zealand has an abundance of renewable electricity that could be used to produce hydrogen in a sustainable way. Hydrogen vehicles are a form of electric vehicle (EV). Hydrogen is mixed with oxygen in the fuel cell to chemically create electricity which is stored in the battery and powers the electric motor. Hydrogen refuelling only takes a few minutes and water is the only emission from the exhaust pipe of a FCEV.
Mr Davis said the high proportion of renewable electricity in New Zealand means the conversion of the national fleet to electric, hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles would play a crucial role in meeting the commitment of the motor and transport industry to reducing CO2 emissions.
Toyota Global has been moving towards low or no emitting vehicles since the 1970s. Its global goal of electrification across its range by 2025 includes hybrids, EVs, PHEVs and FCEV’s. It is focusing on lower-cost, mass-market FCEV passenger cars and SUVs, and using hydrogen technology for heavy commercial vehicles.
The New Zealand Hydrogen Association was formed in September 2018 by private sector companies with seed funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The founding members include Fulton Hogan, HW Richardson Group, Hyundai, Siemens (NZ), Green Cabs, Real Journeys, and Contact Energy.