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Toyota, Hyundai Aus help form hydrogen industry body

Thirsty work: Prior to the ix35 Fuel Cell’s arrival in Australia in 2014, there were no local hydrogen refuelling stations, so Hyundai built one at its headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney.

Hydrogen Mobility Australia co-founded by Toyota, Hyundai gives sector a new voice

General News logo2 Feb 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

TOYOTA Motor Corporation Australia (TMCA) and Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) joined forces this week to help establish Hydrogen Mobility Australia (HMA), a national body for the emerging hydrogen industry.

According to HMA, its “vision is a hydrogen society for Australia built upon clean- and renewable-energy technology, including hydrogen-powered transport”.

Working to accelerate the commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies over traditional fossil fuels, HMA will encourage collaboration between the industry and government via a forum of respective representatives that will try to enact the necessary regulations, codes and standards.

It will also undertake research and education programs that promote the benefits of these technologies.

This effort will be led by recently appointed HMA chief executive officer Claire Johnson, who was previously employed by TMCA as its government liaison officer from 2013 to 2016 and has advocacy experience in both the public and private sectors.

“I am honoured to be appointed as the CEO of Hydrogen Mobility Australia and look forward toworking with its members to advance a hydrogen economy for Australia,” Ms Johnson said.

Commenting on Ms Johnson's appointment, HMA chairman Ian Mutton said: “Claire’s proven track record in building relationships with government and industry will be of great benefit to Hydrogen Mobility Australia as the hydrogen sector in Australia starts to build momentum”.

“I am confident Claire’s leadership of Hydrogen Mobility Australia will position the organisation to be a highly effective advocate for its members. The Board of Directors is looking forward to having her lead the organisation.”

According to TMCA vice-president of product and corporate operations Mike Rausa, who is also an HMA director, the Japanese car-maker’s decision to join the new hydrogen industry body was made with a greener future in mind.

“Toyota’s foundation membership of HMA aligns with our global drive to promote sustainable mobility and to play a leading role in the transition to widespread low-carbon energy use,” he said.

“Hydrogen has the potential to play a pivotal role in the future because it can be used to store and transport energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources to power many things, including vehicles.

“The sooner we move to a zero-emissions society, the better. Toyota along with everyone involved in HMA is committed to making this a reality.”

Furthermore, HMCA chief operating officer Scott Grant stressed the importance of the Korean company’s involvement in advancing hydrogen initiatives through HMA.

“It’s exciting to be a founding member of Hyundai Mobility Australia and we look forward to working closely with all of our partners in promoting and demonstrating this fantastic technology,” he said.

“The reduction of vehicle emissions is an important part of the overall global drive to help make the air we breathe cleaner. Hyundai is a world leader in the development of zero-emissions and low-emissions vehicles and hydrogen power will play a key role in the future of how we drive.”

When it was revealed at the 2012 Paris motor show, the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell beat its hydrogen-powered rivals to market, becoming the first fuel-cell production vehicle ever.

Two years later, an example was permanently imported to Australia and has since been used by HMCA to demonstrate the green technology.

However, prior to the ix35 Fuel Cell’s arrival Down Under, there were no local hydrogen refuelling stations, so HMCA built its own at its headquarters in Macquarie Park, Sydney, which remains the only one currently available.

Similarly, Toyota rolled out the world’s first mass-produced fuel-cell sedan, dubbed the Mirai, in late 2014, which provided a glimpse at the brand’s future zero-emission vehicle plans.

Three examples briefly toured around Australia and were powered by a purpose-built mobile hydrogen refuelling station, but the model was never sold locally.

As previously reported, HMCA will launch its next-generation fuel-cell SUV, the Nexo, early next year when 20 examples are supplied to the ACT government as part of the Hornsdale Windfarm Project.

Other founding members of HMA include BP Australia, Caltex Australia, Siemens, The BOC Group, CNH Industrial, Coregas, ITM Power and Viva Energy Australia.

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