Hydrogen cars cruise the streets of Adelaide

2016 Toyota Mirai Image credit: www.dpc.sa.gov.au

Last week, the streets of Adelaide were used as a testing ground for hydrogen fuel cell cars that do not produce any engine noise but drive and perform like conventional vehicles.

Image credit: www.dpc.sa.gov.au

The vehicles – a Toyota Mirai and a Hyundai iX35 FCV – use hydrogen as a fuel source and emit water rather than carbon or noxious emissions.

Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Chris Picton said the Low Carbon Economy Unit in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet has worked closely with both companies to bring the cars to Adelaide for the first time.

“South Australia is pursuing a range of initiatives to encourage the adoption of zero emission vehicles. We are trailing low emission buses including two locally manufactured electric buses and purchasing low emission cars for the State Government fleet,” Mr Picton added.

“These are important initiatives in our goal to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city and attracting this type of technology is draws attention to our efforts. Aside from encouraging the uptake of these technologies other measures such as the removal of taxation barriers to electric and fuel cell vehicles, in particular the luxury car tax.”

The State Government and Adelaide City Council are jointly supporting hydrogen utility company H2U to undertake a feasibility study into establishing SA’s first hydrogen refuelling station at Mile End.

H2U CEO Attilio Pigneri said the study will examine opportunities for fuel cell powered vehicles in the council’s services and the State bus fleets, with hydrogen produced on-site from renewable electricity using electrolysis technology.

“The H2U team and its project partners are very excited at the opportunity to work with the City and the State Government to investigate establishment of a renewable hydrogen refuelling station in the Mile End precinct,” Mr Pigneri added.

“Fuel Cell Vehicles and Renewable Hydrogen bring unique opportunities to deliver zero emission solutions for heavy use commercial applications such as Taxi, Bus Transport and Waste Collection Services. The close collaboration established between the City and the South Australian Government creates the perfect ecosystem for this initiative and we look forward to make our contribution to the goal of a Carbon Neutral Adelaide.”

Sales of hydrogen cars, buses and trucks are on the rise overseas, triggering the construction of hydrogen refuelling stations. The uptake of hydrogen cars is still in its infancy in Australia, but the signs are promising.

Hyundai has built a small hydrogen refuelling station in Sydney and Toyota has built a mobile refuelling unit that can be transported around the country.