Canberra will be the first Australian city to pilot a publicly available hydrogen refuelling station.

Built and operated by ActewAGL, with the support of French renewable energy company Neoen, the pilot project moves Australia one step closer towards realising hydrogen-powered vehicles on its roads.

The station, located at Mildura Street, Fyshwick, is due to be completed in December 2019.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government will be one of the first customers to use the station, revealing yesterday it will add 20 hydrogen-powered Hyundai NEXO’s to its fleet.

As a public station, the local community will also be given the opportunity to consider hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) when weighing up their vehicle options.

“The ACT is a proud world leader in climate action. We’re on track to deliver 100% renewable electricity by 2020, and to achieve zero net emissions by 2045,” said Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability.

“However, tackling climate change means tackling transport pollution, and zero-emission vehicle technology is a key part of this.”

“By 2020 the ACT will be powered by 100% renewable electricity, meaning our biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions – at over 60% – will come from transport.”

“Being at the forefront of a potentially significant new industry for Australia also strengthens our position as a leader in energy innovation and helps us as we work towards our ambitious goal of zero net emissions by 2045.”

Hydrogen refuelling

The news has been welcomed by Hydrogen Mobility Australia who said it follows two recent commitments from its members Jemena and Toyota Australia to build hydrogen refuelling stations in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.

Toyota Australia unveiled plans back in March to build a $7.4m Hydrogen Centre with commercial grade hydrogen station in Melbourne.

While a broader infrastructure network will be required to support the introduction of hydrogen-powered vehicles to Australia in volume, through the National Hydrogen Strategy currently under development by COAG, the opportunity to build hydrogen refuelling stations in every Australian state and territory is currently being explored.

Through this important piece of work, Hydrogen Mobility Australia said the country will have a clear pathway outlining how and where to build the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure it needs to develop a hydrogen mobility sector nationwide.

Hydrogen Mobility Australia CEO Claire Johnson said government commitments to hydrogen, such as that from the ACT Government and COAG through the National Hydrogen Strategy, are important stepping stones in supporting the transition to a cleaner future for the Australian transport sector and beyond.

“Hydrogen applications, including vehicles are being supported by governments globally to meet their climate, energy and economic goals,” she said.

“With Australia a potential supplier of this hydrogen to the world, it is excellent to see governments here stepping up to support local initiatives and assist the development of a domestic hydrogen sector.”

“Hydrogen Mobility Australia and its members look forward to working together with all stakeholders to support not only the next-generation of zero emission transport but also the bigger picture that clean hydrogen presents for our country.”