The announcement of hydrogen vehicles fuels hopes for a revival of manufacturing in Melbourne

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While hydrogen passenger cars have been overshadowed by the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) like Teslas, hydrogen fuel cells, which convert hydrogen into electricity, are being touted as a potentially more viable option for decarbonizing heavy vehicles, including long-haul trucks and buses, due to weight electric batteries would deduct too much from the payload.

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Volvo and Daimler, two of the world’s largest truck manufacturers, are pursuing plans to lower the cost of hydrogen fuel cells in order to make the zero-emission technology commercially viable by 2027.

However, significant barriers remain to the wider adoption of hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles, including the prohibitively high cost of the technology compared to traditional diesel-powered vehicles.

Other hurdles include the limited availability of hydrogen fueling stations and the high cost of producing zero-emission hydrogen – including “green hydrogen” produced by a renewable energy process, or “blue hydrogen” made from natural gas combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) to sequester emissions.

It’s up to Hyzon’s customers to decide whether to source green or blue hydrogen to fuel their new fleets of commercial vehicles.

Mr Edgley said Hyzon is targeting hundreds of vehicle orders per year through the new facility by 2025. He said he was “no illusion” that it would be a challenging task, but he was confident the cost of heavy hydrogen fuel cell vehicles would fall over the coming five years, while local demand would continue to grow.

“Hydrogen vehicles are more expensive than diesel right now because we don’t have a 100-year history of diesel driving prices down at the super high volumes that would give us economies of scale,” he said. “But in the meantime, we’re building local supply chains.”

RACV CEO Neil Taylor said the partnership with Hyzon is in line with the goal of supporting a clean energy future.

“We see building a larger portfolio of clean energy assets and companies as a strong part of the future of RACV, both in Victoria and across Australia,” he said.

“Our partnership with Hyzon Motors is the first of its kind in Victoria and will create new local jobs and contribute significantly to a cleaner energy future for years to come.”

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