Pure Hydrogen Corporation (ASX: PH2) has successfully demonstrated an Australian breakthrough in hydrogen fuelled transportation with the launch of its revolutionary Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prime Mover, the ‘Taurus’, in Brisbane this week.
The timely unveiling of the new vehicle came at the same time as hydrogen was featuring as a hot topic in Australia with the recent Federal Budget including a new $2 billion allocation of funding support for the sector, while numerous industry specialists were speaking out on its importance in the future energy equation at an international conference in Adelaide.
With government and industry both identifying hydrogen as a key component of the transition to a cleaner energy future, the Pure Hydrogen prime mover is a perfect fit.
The truck has the potential to open up a new door in the use of clean energy options for long-distance hauling – with many pundits suggesting the size, weight and distance travelled by large trucks may make large electric vehicles mute.
Pure Hydrogen has already attracted industry interest with the “Taurus” – a 220kW 6 x 4 Prime Mover with the ability to haul loads of up to 70 tonnes over a driving range of up to 400 km.
PepsiCo is currently trialling the truck as part of an initial Term Sheet agreement signed in 2022, which provides for the potential for the latter to acquire further Pure Hydrogen vehicles through to 2025 if it is happy with the results of the current tests.
Pure Hydrogen managing director, Scott Brown, has confirmed the company is also in discussions with a number of other potential customers in the heavy vehicle industry.
“We are specifically targeting the heavy transport sector as many view hydrogen as the only avenue to decarbonising the industry.
“There is a growing consensus that increased weight, limited driving range and longer recharging times make battery-electric vehicles unviable for heavy transport. Contrastingly, hydrogen fuel cells are able to overcome these barriers.”
Other vehicle developments
Heavy vehicles are not the only hydrogen avenues the company is taking.
Along with its creation of state-of-the-art hydrogen powered prime movers, utility and domestic vehicles.
Other prototype vehicles it has offered to the transport industry includes waste collection trucks, concrete trucks, refrigeration trucks, generators, delivery trucks and buses.
An Australian first Hydrogen Powered Garbage Truck is scheduled to be trialled by JJ Waste and Recycling with a target delivery aim by the end of this quarter.
Internationally, Pure Hydrogen has acquired a 24% stake in hydrogen vehicle company H2X Global, which is currently undergoing final testing and approvals in the European market for a 4WD hydrogen fuel cell powered utility vehicle.
The company is also working at the upstream end of the market with the proposed development of two types of hydrogen production methods, Emerald and Turquoise.
The company’s initial Emerald Hydrogen plant in Moreton Bay, Queensland, is on target for an operational start-up in early 2024. A trial program for testing a protype for Turquoise Hydrogen is expected to kick-off early in the fourth quarter.
Hydrogen a hot topic
Hydrogen has been a hot topic within government with the recent Federal Budget including a new allocation of funding support for the sector through the Hydrogen Headstart program.
The government-funded Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will help develop a $2 billion revenue support program to scale up green hydrogen production.
ARENA says Hydrogen Headstart aims to position Australia as an early mover and global leader in this field.
Highlighting the new hydrogen funding in Budget Speech, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that by acting now, Australian resources, researchers and regions can help power the world.
“Seizing these kinds of industrial and economic opportunities will be the biggest driver and determinant of our future prosperity.
Net zero benefits
The energy source was also a keen topic of conversation at the local oil and gas industry’s annual APPEA Conference in Adelaide this week – one of the biggest gatherings of the powerbrokers in the local energy industry in Australia.
In a keynote presentation, Deloitte Partner Matthew Walden said that low-emission hydrogen is emerging as an integral building block for the decarbonisation of the global economy.
He said it can serve as a complementary emission reduction solution to direct electrification and the use of other low emission technologies such as bioenergy.
APPEA chief executive Samantha McCulloch said hydrogen, in combination with natural gas, can play a role in the globe reaching a net zero target.
“Natural gas can kick-start production of low-emissions hydrogen in a cleaner energy future,” she said.
“Our trading partners who purchase our LNG today are likely to be the same partners who will buy our hydrogen tomorrow,” she told the APPEA attendees.