Hobson's Bay has announced a 12-week trial of the Toyota Mirai, with three hydrogen fuel-cell sedans bound for the beachside city council's fleet.
The trial, which starts today, will put the fuel-cell sedan in the hands of council members on regular day-to-day duties. According to the mayor, Angela Altair, the results will be fed back to Toyota to help it better understand what's required for hydrogen vehicles to work on fleets.
Fuelling will take place at a mobile hydrogen station housed at the old Toyota factory in Altona, a 13 minute drive from the Hobson's Bay City Council building.
There are no hydrogen fuelling stations in Victoria at the moment – the first is set for completion in 2020 – making the mobile unit a necessity for now.
"Our staff will use the three Toyota Mirais to carry out their work for our community," said Hobson's Bay mayor, Angela Altair, who's pushing to make her council a zero-emissions operation by 2020.
"We will feed back the experience of our staff to Toyota, so they can learn more about the experience and performance of these cars."
Along with the Mirai fleet, a pair of hydrogen forklifts are being put through their paces at the former Toyota manufacturing site in Altona.
They're being used to move parts around the brand's distribution centre, and take three minutes to refuel instead of the eight hours required to recharge a pure-electric forklift.
"When a sustainable energy source like solar, wind and water is used to produce the hydrogen, there is a high potential for energy cost savings," said Bob Walmsley, corporate compliance and project development manager at Toyota Material Handling.
"With conventional forklift special care is needed when charging and maintaining the battery, whereas a FC forklift is considered simpler when it comes to refuelling and scheduled maintenance."