According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Census, there are 16.7 million motor vehicles in Australia. Also as of December 2012, there are no operational hydrogen fueling stations in the Land Down Under.
There WAS an operational hydrogen refilling station on the Western side in Perth. This station serviced, from 2004 to 2007, three fuel cell DaimlerChrysler Citaro buses and was part of the STEP, CUTE and HyFLEET:CUTE projects. The station has been non-operational ever since.
Now, comes the good part. Toyota has decided that they are going to start manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell cars in Melbourne. About 2 hours away a hydrogen capturing plant will be constructed in Gippsland which will take advantage of the area’s vast supply of brown coal.
According to news.com.au, “Toyota wants to make hydrogen cars in Melbourne fuelled by brown coal from the Latrobe Valley in a move that could save the struggling local car industry. The hi-tech switch would also require a new hydrogen-capturing plant to be built in Gippsland, providing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars worth of investment for the region, which has one of the state’s highest unemployment rates. Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda said Victoria was ideally placed to take advantage of the new technology, which would roll out in Japan and the US in 2015.”
If you would like to read a technical 401-page primer regarding hydrogen and brown coal in Australia, then check this out. Otherwise, just know that brown coal is considered one of the lowest grades of coal with the highest water content. As with other grades of coal, pollution is a problem.
If the hydrogen capturing plant in Gippsland is to be of any value environmentally-speaking, then it will need some sort of carbon capture and sequestration system.
And if all goes as planned, by 2015 and beyond, the Land Down Under will be flying high with Toyota fuel cell vehicles. And that will be a very g’day my friends.