NZ hydrogen to play key role in Toyota’s decarbonisation efforts


Three exclusive hydrogen initiatives launched in the past six months are supporting Toyota NZ’s carbon neutrality ambition, already stopping tonnes of CO2 being produced

Toyota’s hydrogen efforts are focussed on hydrogen opportunities in both mobility solutions and static applications, bringing technology inovations in the hopes to help New Zealand establish a hydrogen economy.

Working with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota NZ is introducing new hydrogen technologies in the form of vehicles, fuels cells, and now fully renewable hydrogen generators to support the construction and conservation sectors in NZ.

Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Neeraj Lala says Toyota has been focussed on building greater resilience and innovation when it comes to diversifying its decarbonisation expertise beyond mobility and the light transport sector.

“While we continue to reduce emissions within our light vehicle fleet, we are highly motivated to introduce new hydrogen technology to help us decarbonise our overall business and the economy.”

“We are expanding our business and entering the exciting new world of renewable energy, powered by green hydrogen, produced here in Aotearoa New Zealand,” he says.

Toyota is focused on a minimum 46% absolute carbon reduction by 2030. This will require action across the whole business.

“We are working closely with other highly respected and motivated brands in NZ that share a passion for new technology and exploring new ways to make their business more sustainable.

“Our ambition is to introduce hydrogen technology that Toyota Motor Corporation is already working on and to bring it to New Zealand.

“We believe hydrogen technology can help decarbonise critical commercial sectors more effectively beyond light transport in the short-term,” Neeraj Lala says.

Toyota NZ has introduced three exclusive hydrogen initiatives into New Zealand in the past 6 months to support their carbon neutrality ambition: a highly innovative Hydrogen powered electricity generator built in Europe; hydrogen-fuel cells sourced from Japan for America’s Cup chase boats; and hydrogen fuel cell Mirai cars in an exclusive car sharing scheme with commercial partners in Auckland.

Toyota NZ launched the Toyota Hydrogen Project car share scheme in May 2022, and partnered with eight kiwi iconic brands to showcase the capabilities of this technology. The car share initiative, operated under their CityHop business is available for daily use by the scheme members.

“In just under 12 months*, more than 5.6 tonnes of CO2 have been removed from the Auckland inner city precinct from over 28,000kms travelled by the eight companies in the zero emission Toyota Mirai,” he says.

At the other end of the innovation spectrum, Toyota worked with long term partner Emirates Team New Zealand, to help develop their hydrogen chase boat, Chase Zero through providing the fuel cell technology.

After extensive trialling, Chase Zero is now in Europe with the team and orders have been received for more chase boats from other America’s Cup teams. These boats will be built in New Zealand in partnership with Toyota Hydrogen and other local technology suppliers.

“Before departing for Europe, Chase Zero has removed more than 19.8 tonnes of CO2** from the Marine sector, and over 8,585 litres of petrol was replaced with a zero emissions solution,” he says.

“We will see hydrogen powered chase boats in Barcelona with fuel cells supplied by Toyota New Zealand.”

Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a modular fuel cell system that can be used in various commercial applications. The fuel cell systems are designed to address the need for large output in applications such as trucks, buses, ships, and stationary generators.

“Our ambition is to expand our Toyota fuel cells into more commercial applications.”

Toyota’s Hydrogen generator emits no carbon dioxide

Toyota NZ has worked with Toyota Europe and its technology partner Energy Observer Developments (EODev) to bring the first hydrogen-powered electricity generator to New Zealand. The GEH2 has a footprint of around three-square metres and is rated at 110kVA and 88kW. It runs purely on hydrogen and emits only hot water and filtered air.

The GEH2® is equipped with the latest generation of fuel cells from Toyota, giving it exceptional durability and reliability. In relation to the power delivered, it is the most compact and efficient electro-hydrogen generator on the market in Europe.

The hydrogen generator has many potential uses in NZ. It is ideal for off-grid isolated sites (shelters, islands, telecom relays), sensitive or confined environments (tunnels, closed spaces), protected and regulated zero emission zones, construction sites (off-grid or downtown), and emergency use during power outages for data centres, hospitals, airports, ports, or banks.

It also ideal for events such as concerts and temporary sporting events whereas a traditional diesel generator is noisy and pollutes with carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and diesel particulate emissions.

Toyota New Zealand and Emirates Team New Zealand will use the GEH2® to power the screening of a documentary about its land speed record attempt with Horonuku, a land yacht, this week at Te Komititanga in Auckland.

“The hydrogen generator is a real game changer,” he says. “Our first hydrogen generator will give us an opportunity to explore and experiment with commercial partners while delivering a significant impact when it comes to lowering emissions.”

“Amazingly there are no emissions standards for diesel generators in New Zealand. This GEH2 generator provides a new solution and in time can provide an affordable alternative as green hydrogen becomes more readily available.”