Hyundai has successfully registered a fleet of hydrogen cars in Australia. This will be the first fleet to enter Australia in history.

The Korean carmaker Hyundai has been battling it out with Toyota to take this historic title. Although Toyota is not too far behind in introducing its fleet of hydrogen vehicles.

Hyundai is part of a project in Canberra while Toyota is co-developing a hydrogen refuelling facility in Melbourne. Both being in the southern part of the country.

Series delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic last year have stalled their introduction. They were originally going to be introduced this year but that has since been pushed back.

February sales figures show that 20 hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexos were sold, giving the Korean carmaker an advantage over Toyota to become the first manufacturer with the alternatively-fuelled vehicles on Australian roads.

Hyundai and Toyota are constantly racing to launch the first hydrogen-powered cars on local roads. This will give one brand the advantage of being first in the market. Hyundai has since secured a contract to supply 20 of its Nexo SUV to the Australian Capital Territory government. Toyota also securing a contract with the Victorian Government and energy supplier Arena to run a trial of 20 of its hydrogen-fuelled Mirai sedans.

Both Hyundai and Toyota will start leasing their hydrogen cars to business and government fleets soon as part of an extended trial. Hydrogen-powered cars have been announced to help combat range anxiety while also providing emissions-free motoring. This is especially critical to governments and business looking to shore up their ‘green’ credentials.

Hydrogen-powered cars can be refuelled in about the same time it takes to fill petrol or diesel-powered cars, although a lack of infrastructure in Australia remains a limitation.

Their are now a few hydrogen refuelling stations in Canberra and Melbourne – joining Hyundai’s hydrogen pump at its Sydney headquarters and Toyota’s mobile refuelling station – will bring the nation’s tally to four.

Hydrogen vehicles work by powering a ‘fuel cell’ which then generates electricity to charges an on-board battery pack. This will then send power to the wheels through an electric motor. The only emission that hydrogen-powered cars release is water vapour from the exhaust pipe.

While local testing of the nascent fuel tech should begin soon, it could be several years before hydrogen cars become readily available for the general public in Australia. Hyundai and Toyota have both confirmed that only business and governments will have access to hydrogen-powered vehicle fleets.