Toyota Australia has purchased a 0.25MW rapid-response PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyser from ITM Power – the UK business’ first sale in Australia.

The electrolyser will generate hydrogen on-site at Toyota’s facilities in Altona, Melbourne using renewable energy to split water. The hydrogen will be utilised for refuelling Toyota’s fuel cell electric vehicles including the Toyota Mirai.

ITM Power’s CEO Dr. Graham Cooley said, “Australia is an important new market for ITM Power and we are working hard to build strong commercial relationships with our partners.”

“I am delighted to be working closely with Toyota as it continues to explore and showcase opportunities for hydrogen in Australia including the Mirai FCEV. The valuable work of Hydrogen Mobility Australia and their members is also a key focus for our business development activities.”

Hydrogen Mobility Australia CEO: Hydrogen’s time has come

Matt MacLeod, Toyota Australia’s Manager of Advanced Planning, added, “Toyota Australia sees great opportunities for hydrogen in Australia as a method to lower carbon emissions and support utilisation of renewable energy.”

“ITM Power has demonstrated capability in this field in overseas markets and we look forward to continuing to support the growing interest in the hydrogen industry in Australia.”

Back in December 2017, ITM Power formed ITM Power Pty, a wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in Australia and the appointment of Dr. Neil Thompson as Managing Director.

Speaking about the first sale, Thompson said, “We are delighted to be working with Toyota in Australia and making our first sale in this exciting new territory. We look forward to working closely with Toyota Australia, a fellow member of Hydrogen Mobility Australia.”

Hydrogen in Australia

The Federal Government’s lead scientist Dr. Alan Finkel recently suggested that Australia could slash global carbon emissions and create a multi-billion-dollar export industry by developing hydrogen as an everyday energy source to replace fossil fuels used in vehicles, homes and industry.

Australia’s $1.14bn National Hydrogen Plan

His suggestion came in response to release of the latest report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which called for a coal phase-out by 2050 and predicted a substantial decline in the use of natural gas.

Since 2017, various Australian State Government’s including South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have been developing roadmaps for transition to Dr Finkel’s proposed ‘hydrogen economy’ which has also been mapped at the Federal level via release in August 2018 of the CSIRO’s National Hydrogen Roadmap along with ARENA’s hydrogen export report.

Dr. Finkel has also been working closely with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on development of a National Hydrogen Strategy via the COAG Energy Council which is due for release by late 2019 following extensive industry and community consultation.