Brad Leach | Nov 28, 2016

Toyota hasn’t let the lack of hydrogen refuelling facilities in Australia stand in the way of racking-up kilometres with its fleet of prototype Mirai fuel cell vehicles.

Clearly an interim measure, Toyota’s three Mirai sedans are on a local roadshow and being followed by a Hino 700 Series prime mover towing a trailer containing bottles of hydrogen, a generator and compressor. In fact the trailer is large enough that one of the Toyota Mirais can be loaded inside.

The bottled hydrogen is cooled and pressurized to the required 70MPa before being pumped into the Mirais. Naturally the same mobile refuelling system can be used for other fuel-cell vehicles - at this time most commonly forklifts and some buses.

Overseas hydrogen refuelling station
Overseas hydrogen refuelling station

Toyota says its pair of fuel-cell Mirais have are averaging around 550kms between refills (when full, the two on-board tanks contain roughly 5kgs of compressed hydrogen). Mirai drivers in Japan, Europe and North America report refuelling from the already-operational commercial stations in those countries takes three to five minutes (around the same as a conventional petrol/diesel-fuelled sedan).

While admittedly cumbersome and a stop-gap solution, Toyota Australia’s mobile hydrogen refuelling truck is keeping its Mirai sedans on the road while they undertake vital on-road tests and visit dealerships.

“This is a practical and necessary measure to enable people around Australia to learn about and experience first-hand the game-changing Mirai and its ground-breaking technology,” revealed Toyota Australia’s Bernie O’Connor. “It is the first high-pressure hydrogen refueller in Australia that can completely fill a fuel cell vehicle.”

Toyota is calling on government departments and businesses to follow the lead of Hyundai Australia (currently running a fleet of fuel-cell iX35 SUVs) in installing a hydrogen refuelling point in the carpark so back-to-base fleets can use the zero-emissions vehicles every day.

Next step (according to Toyota) would be the introduction of strategically located mobile refuellers - like its current model - located in major capital cities. The Toyota Mirai sedan is the reigning World Green Car winner.

MORE: Toyota | Hydrogen | Green

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