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Toyota New Zealand leading and helping develop hydrogen economy


Toyota New Zealand is leading and helping develop a viable hydrogen economy in New Zealand with a range of innovations in multiple sectors, from static electricity generators to hydrogen-powered speedboats.

The firm’s hydrogen strategy is to instigate, encourage and enable New Zealand businesses to enter the hydrogen market which is still very much in its infancy in this country.

Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive Neeraj Lala says the main goal of the company's hydrogen efforts is to establish a hydrogen market by generating demand and backing the necessary infrastructure.

“Following our investment with Emirates Team New Zealand with the development of its hydrogen chase boat, our investment in the Toyota Hydrogen generator is designed to allow partners to test and consider hydrogen as a genuine alternative energy source in the commercial sector.”

“We are passionate about exploring the broader use of hydrogen across multiple sectors including construction which relies heavily on diesel generators,” Neeraj Lala says.

Most recently, Toyota has announced it is supplying a hydrogen fuel cell generator to Air New Zealand to trial using hydrogen to charge Air New Zealand’s electric tugs and service vehicles over the next few weeks at Wellington Airport. 

"By showcasing innovative solutions like the fuel cell generator in practical applications such as aviation, we can stimulate demand and demonstrate the viability and benefits of hydrogen technology,” he says.

“Air New Zealand has been a strong supporter with our Hydrogen Car Share project, so this partnership feels like a natural extension given our passion for Hydrogen technology.”

Neeraj Lala says the hydrogen focus is to create opportunities in both mobility solutions and static applications as part of an ambition to diversify and continue to build a carbon-neutral business.

“We introduced three hydrogen initiatives into New Zealand to support our carbon neutrality ambition: a highly innovative hydrogen powered electricity generator; hydrogen fuel cell Mirai cars in an exclusive car sharing scheme with commercial partners in Auckland; and hydrogen-fuel cells sourced from Japan for America’s Cup chase boats and other uses,” Neeraj Lala says.

The Toyota Hydrogen Project car share scheme, which was launched in May 2022, partnered with eight kiwi brands to showcase the capabilities of this technology. In 2024, Fletcher Building, AMI and EnviroNZ joined the Hydrogen Project.

Since launching, 174 different drivers from the companies in scheme have travelled a total of 59,116 kms, saving over eleven and a half tonnes of CO2 compared to driving the same distance in a petrol fuelled car.

With further developments in hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in Auckland, Toyota is planning to add 18 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell cars to a commercial fleet leasing scheme.

After extensive trialling, Emirates Team New Zealand’s Chase Zero is now in Europe with the team and orders have been received for five more hydrogen fuel cell chase boats for other America’s Cup teams.

In addition, the marque has had a successful year with seven Fuel Cells delivered to market for various applications including a specialised back up power generator and a truck conversion.