In an Australian first, Toyota Australia is partnering with a Melbourne council for a real-world trial of hydrogen-electric vehicles. From today, 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.
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.—Matt MacLeod
The trial FCEVs will be refueled at a mobile hydrogen refueler based at Toyota’s former manufacturing site in nearby Altona—a 13-minute drive to Hobson’s Bay City Council.
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 Australia’s number one car company planning to loan the Mirai FCEVs to participating companies or organizations for up to 12-weeks at a time.
Forklift Trials. Two hydrogen fuel cell (FC) forklifts are also being trialed at Toyota Australia’s former manufacturing site in Altona. The Toyota Material Handling FC forklifts are the first to be used by Toyota outside of Japan.
Toyota Material Handling Australia’s General Manager of Corporate Compliance and Project Development, Bob Walmsley, said the hydrogen FC forklifts will be used to move parts around the Toyota Parts Centre at the Altona site.
Like the Mirai, the FC forklifts will be refueled at Toyota’s mobile refueler at Altona.