FleetDrive 27 - February 2021 - Page 28

Australian Government Priorities
The five priority areas identified by the government are :
1 . Electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure where it is needed
2 . Early focus on commercial fleets
3 . Improving information for motorists and fleets
4 . Integrating battery electric vehicles into the electricity grid
5 . Supporting Australian innovation and manufacturing
It should be noted that this is a Discussion Paper which the government has produced to elicit feedback - I suspect they will not be short of responses !
Australian Leadership
Andrew Forrest has not just been rescuing RM Williams as an Australian brand and company through his recent purchase of the business . He has been travelling the globe signing up foreign governments to use ‘ green hydrogen ’.
Forrest has revealed his ambition to build Australia ’ s first green steel pilot plant this year , disclosing Fortescue Metals ’ plans to take on hydrogen power to lower emissions . Further , he has committed to running their entire fleet on renewable energy by 2030 .
He emphasises that Australia has a great opportunity to be exporters of hydrogen , creating the jobs of the future which can more than offset those lost in the refining of oil and production of coal .
Understanding the Fuels
We hear a lot about both Battery Electric and Hydrogen as the main evolving fuel sources and many people think they will need to choose between them but there is no need to ‘ back a winner ’ here .
Think of it this way , if you ’ re currently driving a Petrol vehicle it ’ s likely you will be driving its Battery Electric equivalent in the future . If you ’ re driving a Diesel vehicle you will probably be driving its Hydrogen equivalent .
There will of course be exceptions and points of crossover , such as large SUVs which may come in either or both technologies .
This rule can also be applied to multiple modes of transport or equipment – trains , buses , ferries , planes , forklifts etc .
The Technology is Here !
Not driven an Electric vehicle ? Worried about the range ? The advancements in battery technology are as swift as they are impressive and despite minimal government assistance , industry is getting on with the job of building the necessary infrastructure and producing an increasing range of vehicles .
Scott Nargar , Hyundai ’ s Senior Manager of Future Mobility and Government Relations and the co-founder and Board member of the Australian Hydrogen Council said , “ For the last 10 years Hyundai Motor Company Australia has been at the forefront of the transition to a low and zero emission transport future with the largest range of eco drivetrains in Australia including HEV , PHEV , EV and FCEV ”.