The first hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck will take to Australian roads within months as part of a deal with PepsiCo that one Queensland minister said would set Australia up as a “global green energy provider”.
The food and beverage giant has revealed plans to add the Taurus prime-mover to its fleet as part of a six-month trial alongside vehicle distributor HDrive and energy provider Pure Hydrogen.
The trial will be the second zero-emission truck test for PepsiCo after it became the first company to take deliveries of Tesla Semi electric trucks earlier this year.
But Pepsi’s hydrogen prime mover, which will operate between Tarragindi and Lytton on Brisbane’s southside, must undergo further safety checks and wait for the state’s first public hydrogen refuelling station to open before the trial can begin.
Queensland Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni, who drove the Taurus prime mover at its launch on Wednesday, said the vehicle trial would be an important step towards cutting transport emissions and demonstrating Australia’s new energy investments.
“Today we are signalling to the entire world that we are ready to step up as the world’s global green energy provider by making sure we’re able to decarbonise our own transport sector, starting in Queensland,” he said.
“I’m incredibly confident that we will see hydrogen vehicles like this one up and down the Bruce Highway and Pacific Highway in just a matter of years.”
PepsiCo Australia chief executive Kyle Faulconer told AAP the hydrogen-powered truck would transport food and beverages to distribution hubs during its trial, and would be the first of its kind in the company’s fleet.
“This test isn’t just the first for us in Australia – it’s the first for us globally,” he said.
“We’re excited about the hydrogen potential in Australia especially because it’s produced here and it’s green-produced, which is one of the key elements.”
Mr Faulconer said the company had chosen to test hydrogen rather than electric trucks in Australia due to a lack of large-scale solar power in the country.
The customised Taurus truck would be capable of hauling a payload of 18 tonnes and covering 300 kilometres.
If the truck trial is successful, Mr Faulconer said, PepsiCo would look to replace other heavy trucks in its 16-strong fleet.
Pure Hydrogen national sales manager Clint Butler said a scarcity of hydrogen refuelling stations in Australia had meant a slow start for the technology but projects were under way to change that trajectory.
“Selling a truck is easy but the second question they ask is where do they refuel it,” he said.
Mr Butler said Pure Hydrogen was currently investing in a hydrogen-refuelling project in Moreton Bay and investigating a second project at Morningside, in Brisbane’s south.
The Queensland government is also investing in hydrogen-equipment manufacturing facilities in Gladstone, and will roll out five hydrogen refuelling stations in the state as part of its contribution to an East Coast Hydrogen Super Highway with NSW and Victorian governments.
Extracted in full from: https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/transport/hydrogen-powered-trucks-primed-to-roll-out-in-australia-c-11117479