Are hydrogen cars common overseas?
Manufacturers sell hydrogen vehicles in Japan, South Korea, Europe and parts of the US, but sales are very low compared to battery electric vehicles. According to JATO, global sales of hydrogen fuel-cell cars increased 84% to 15,500 units in 2021, compared to 4.2 million battery electric vehicles, up 108% from the year prior.
How do you refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles?
Hydrogen refuelling stations can be standalone sites like battery electric vehicle charging stations, they can be mobile and set up on a road-train scale truck, or they can sit within a conventional petrol station.
Permanent hydrogen refuelling stations in Australia are few and far between in Australia. There is a hydrogen refuelling station at Hyundai's Sydney headquarters, one at Toyota’s former manufacturing hub in Altona in Melbourne’s west, and the country’s first petrol-station set up for a hydrogen service in Brisbane, operated by BP.
Is hydrogen technology better suited to heavy vehicles?
Hydrogen is seen by many truck and auto industry figures as a more logical fit for heavy-commercial vehicles and transport. Some believe that everything that runs on petrol today will be battery electric powered in the future while everything that is diesel-powered today and that carries heavy loads will one day be hydrogen-powered. As a consequence, most passenger cars and SUVs bought and driven by the general public in coming years will increasingly be battery electric powered. Light and heavy commercial vehicles are expected to run on hydrogen in the decades to come.
Hyundai, Toyota/Hino, Kenworth, Daimler/Volvo, Hyzon Motors and US start-up Nikola are all in various stages of hydrogen truck development.
Hydrogen fuel cells lend themselves better to powering heavy loads. Heavy duty trucks would require several tonnes worth of batteries to carry the loads they currently handle. However, with technology developments are happening at a rapid rate, there is a high likelihood that both electric battery EV heavy vehicles and hydrogen heavy vehicles will become a regular site on our roads. EV pioneer Tesla's brand new EV truck is nearing production.
Are there any hydrogen trucks built in Australia?
Melbourne is now home to Hyzon Motors Australia's headquarters, a global leader in zero-emissions hydrogen powered commercial vehicles, under a partnership agreement between the RACV and Hyzon.
Under the agreement, Hyzon Motors in conjunction with the RACV at their Noble Park site in Melbourne’s east, is developing a purpose-built facility including corporate offices, showroom, assembly warehousing and workshop. Once complete, the Hyzon Motors site is expected to generate over a 100 local engineering and manufacturing jobs by 2025.
The partnership also includes hydrogen powered vehicles for RACV owned subsidiary Nationwide Group, the first order of such vehicles for a towing company in Australia.