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Busy freight corridor to get hydrogen network

The ARRB says the new hydrogen network is just the start of more zero-emissions technology

A collaboration between eastern states New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland is set to build a renewable hydrogen refuelling network for heavy vehicles along the nation’s busiest freight route.

The NSW government says it’s expecting 10,000 hydrogen heavy vehicles to be operating by 2030 while Queensland hydrogen minister Mick de Brenni says truck drivers in the state will soon be joining the hydrogen trend.

Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) mobility futures leader and chair Renata Berglas says it’s clear that states along the eastern seaboard are supporting the zero-emission transition in the transport industry.

Berglas says the freight industry is optimistic that the price of fuel cell vehicles will continue to fall to comparable levels and that the sector still has more to do to continue pursuing hydrogen vehicles.

“There are still many hurdles to overcome including vehicle availability, cost and supply of hydrogen and the trial of vehicles in Australian conditions,” Berglas says.

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The ARRB member says there is still debate over the continuation of fuel cell vehicles depending on what suits the transport industry in Australia, but is hopeful after hearing of the tri-state move for a hydrogen refuelling network along the east coast freight corridor.

Yet Berglas points to the likes of Elon Musk as people who aren’t convinced that hydrogen fuel cell technology is the right fit for the trucking industry, as he warns companies to go with OEMs that are developing new zero-emissions models.

Berglas says he wants hydrogen technology and electric trucks to “eventually operate side by side in their fleets” to help transition to zero-emissions in the industry.

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