In an Australian first, Toyota Australia is partnering with a Melbourne council for a real-world trial of hydrogen-electric vehicles.
Three Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), the first of their kind to be driven by members of the public in Australia, will be provided to Hobson’s Bay City Council in Melbourne’s inner west for a 12-week trial.
During that period, the Mirais will be driven by council staff under a range of conditions and at different times of the day, just like any other vehicle.
The trial will help Hobson’s Bay City Council reduce its vehicle fleet emissions and reach its environmental target of zero CO2 by 2020.
Toyota Australia’s Manager of Advanced Technology Vehicles and Site Development, Matt MacLeod, said the trial will go a long way to normalising the new technology.
“We know that it’s only a matter of time before CO2 regulations arrive in Australia, and that’s why there is such a huge focus on zero emission vehicles like the Mirai,” said Mr MacLeod.
“This trial is a step in the right direction and that’s why we’re excited to partner with Hobson’s Bay City Council to see these Mirai used in a number of real-world applications.
“It’s a great opportunity to highlight the fact that these cars drive just like any other vehicle, except they don’t make any engine noise and emit nothing but water vapour.
“Like most hydrogen powered vehicles, the Mirai isn’t currently available for sale in Australia, mainly because there isn’t existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure to support it.”
The trial FCEVs will be refuelled at a mobile hydrogen refueller based at Toyota’s former manufacturing site in nearby Altona – a 13-minute drive to Hobson’s Bay City Council.
Hobsons Bay City Council Mayor Angela Altair said Council staff were looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the FCEVs.
“Our staff will use the three Toyota Mirais to carry out their work for our community,” said Cr Altair. “We will feed back the experience of our staff to Toyota, so they can learn more about the experience and performance of these cars.”
The trial with Hobson’s Bay City Council will be the first of several trials run by Toyota Australia over the next three years, with the company planning to loan the Mirai FCEVs to participating companies or organisations for up to 12-weeks at a time.