Toyota has opened its first commercial hydrogen fuel pump site in the Australian state of Victoria.
The facility will support 20 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars in a trial to gain feedback on how they run. The site west of Melbourne is Toyota’s largest globally in terms of producing, storing and dispensing hydrogen.
It is the second hydrogen fuel station to open in Australia within a week. In Canberra, ActewAGL has begun selling green hydrogen produced by France’s Neoen in a trial of 20 Hyundai Nexo sport utility vehicles owned by the Australian Capital Territory government.
Toyota has sold some 10,000 Mirai vehicles, mostly in Japan and the United States. Elsewhere hydrogen fuel cell vehicles remain a niche segment amid concerns about a lack of fuelling stations, resale values and the risk of hydrogen explosions.
Toyota is now urging the Australian government to encourage the rollout of more sites to boost the take-up of cleaner cars.
“Here in Australia, refuelling infrastructure has been the biggest challenge, and still is, to introducing pioneering vehicles like the Mirai. This is an important step forward to rectifying that,” said Matthew MacLeod, Toyota Australia’s manager of future technologies and mobility.
Australia is generally considered behind the curve in the global drive to cut carbon emissions from the transport sector, with no targets or subsidies for cleaner vehicles – even for hybrid or battery electric vehicles, in stark contrast to most other rich nations.
The government, however, projects that 26% of new vehicle sales will be electric vehicles in 2030, up from 1% in 2020.