South Africa has made a significant step forward in the development of a hydrogen mobility ecosystem, with the presentation of the country’s first on-road demonstration at the Smart Mobility Africa Summit.
The demonstration involved a second-generation Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) fuelled with hydrogen produced by Sasol and dispensing technology provided by Air Products. The partnership between the three companies is aimed at promoting the use of hydrogen as a fuel of the future.
The demonstration showcased the potential of a hydrogen transportation system, which could help to decarbonize the hard-to-abate and hard-to-electrify heavy duty transport sector such as long-haul trucks, buses, and mining fleets.
Toyota has been involved in the development of hydrogen vehicles for over 30 years and has sold more than 25,000 fuel cell electric vehicles since then. Air Products has a long history of safe hydrogen fuelling and operates the largest hydrogen pipeline network in South Africa.
The companies believe that the hydrogen market is best suited to longer distance travel and larger vehicles, such as trucks and buses. Toyota is already involved in several projects where FCEVs are being used as commercial vehicles.
The challenge now is to commercialize a hydrogen mobility ecosystem in South Africa. This will require more partners, investors, and support from the government. The companies are looking at so-called eco-clusters as a start, such as the Pretoria-Johannesburg region. In the long term, the focus will be on expanding the hydrogen ecosystems along major long-haul routes and into other African countries.
The development of a hydrogen mobility ecosystem in South Africa has the potential to revolutionize the transportation sector and help the country to achieve its climate goals. Hydrogen is a clean and sustainable fuel that can be used to power a variety of vehicles, including heavy-duty vehicles that are difficult to electrify.
The commercialization of a hydrogen mobility ecosystem would create jobs and boost the economy. It would also help to reduce South Africa’s reliance on imported oil and make the country more energy independent.
The demonstration of South Africa’s first on-road hydrogen mobility ecosystem is a significant step forward in the country’s transition to a clean energy future. The commercialization of a hydrogen mobility ecosystem has the potential to revolutionize the transportation sector, create jobs, boost the economy, and reduce South Africa’s reliance on imported oil.