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2021 Mirai FCEV front and centre as Toyota opens new hydrogen facility

The Toyota Hydrogen Centre is located in Altona, Melbourne, where production of its locally built models took place.

Toyota Australia has opened Victoria’s first public hydrogen refuelling station in Altona, at the site of its former manufacturing facility, to service the needs of 20 Mirai FCEVs about to land Down Under.

The fleet of 20 Mirai vehicles will be leased to businesses as a trial to test the viability of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on local roads, and will remain unavailable to the public.

Along with the refuelling station, a hydrogen Education Centre has also been opened to inform the public on where hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have come from, explain the technology’s unique selling points over a battery EV, and “dispel any myths around the safety and use of hydrogen as a fuel”, according to Toyota.

Together, the Education Centre and refuelling station, are dubbed the Toyota Hydrogen Centre.

A 200kW electrolyser is used on site to produce up to 80kg of hydrogen per day, with the second-generation Mirai sedan taking less than five minutes to refuel from empty.

With a driving range of 650km based on WLTP standards, the new Mirai sports around 30 per cent more range than its predecessor, which was also brought to Australia to drum up interest in FCEVs.

Likewise, Hyundai has also just launched its fleet of Nexo hydrogen SUVs in Canberra, which will be used by the local government.

Toyota’s Altona site is the third hydrogen refuelling station to open, with one also situated at Hyundai’s headquarters in Sydney and another in the ACT suburb of Fyshwick.

All FCEVs and hydrogen refuelling stations share the same standards, meaning any vehicle regardless of brand can theoretically fill up anywhere.

Toyota Australia boss Matthew Callachor said he hopes the Hydrogen Centre will be the first step in a cleaner future.

“By demonstrating the viability of renewably-produced hydrogen as an automotive and energy fuel through this project, Toyota and its partners in government and business are pioneering a cleaner, more sustainable future that will encourage the further acceptance of this technology,” he said.

Meanwhile, CSIRO scientist Dr Patrick Hartley said: “The infrastructure which is being commissioned at this new Toyota facility will not only progress the deployment of hydrogen vehicles, which can make a major contribution to helping our transport sector navigate Australia's energy transition, but it will also serve as a beacon to other companies looking to invest in hydrogen transport technology.”