New Australian zero emission vehicle company HDrive has been appointed Australian distributor for International hydrogen mobility and clean energy company Hyzon Motors which is building 10 hydrgen fuel cell (FCEVs) coaches for Fortescue Metals Group in the Pilbara.
HDrive has worked closely with Hyzon Motors to design the FCEV buses replacing diesel coaches at Christmas Creek from mid-2021 under a $32 million renewable hydrogen mobility project – the first for an Australian mining operation. A refuelling station will harness renewable electricity from the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project to generate hydrogen onsite. Fortescue’s mobile fleet represents around 400 to 450 million litres of diesel consumption annually, Fortescue deputy chief executive Julie Shuttleworth says.
It has received $2 million funding through the Western Australian Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund to support the project’s development.
“The Fortescue Metals contract will see the latest technology BLK electric coaches equipped with Hyzon’s most advanced heavy duty truck fuel cells to meet the difficult and testing conditions the coaches will have to deal with in the rugged Pilbara environment,” HDrive chief executive Jason Pecotic says. “The BLK coaches to be supplied to Fortescue are newly developed, customised electric coaches which will use the Hyzon hydrogen fuel cells to provide superior performance to alternate battery electric vehicles, and are not a retrofit diesel coach or a glider chassis delivered without a power train, ” he adds. “HDrive is able to work with Hyzon and vehicle makers to integrate hydrogen fuel cells to power the latest technology electric buses and trucks.”
Hyzon Motors chief executive Craig Knight says the appointment of HDrive is an important step in making hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial vehicles available to the Australian market.“HDrive and Jason played a key role in identifying and winning the Fortescue contract and we look forward to sealing many more deals for hydrogen fuel cell commercials vehicles in Australia in future.”This will be the first time hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be deployed in an outback location rather than on traditional city cycles where average speeds and power needs are relatively low.
Heavy transport has been identified as one of the most promising applications for hydrogen in Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy commissioned by the COAG Energy Council in November 2019.It was also highlighted as highly impactful by the Hydrogen for Transport study commissioned by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to investigate factors in establishing hydrogen as a fuel in Australia by 2030.
Author Geoff Dobson - EVTalk Image - EVtalk