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First hydrogen refilling station in region opens in Dubai

The first hydrogen refilling station in the region was unveiled in Dubai Festival City on Wednesday, aimed to eventually transform the UAE into a “hydrogen society”.

Al Futtaim Motors, the country’s Toyota dealership, inaugurated its first hydrogen station in the UAE in its Al Badia showroom in partnership with France’s Air Liquide.

The initiative is in line with the UAE Vision 2021’s sustainable objectives to increase the contribution to the world’s clean energy drive and reduce dependence on traditional sources of energy, said officials.

Saud Abbasi, Managing Director of Toyota at Al Futtaim Motors, said the move to introduce hydrogen-powered cars in the UAE is the next step in their sustainable mobility journey.

Toyota first introduced green vehicles in the UAE in the form of Hybrid cars in the UAE nine years ago.

In 2016, the Toyota Mirai (Japanese for “the future”) underwent technical testing in the UAE and a small demo hydrogen station was set up at Al Futtaim’s Al Badia location.

Hydrogen-powered cars run on hydrogen — the most abundant element in the universe. It has zero carbon emissions and only emits water and heat.

Toyota Mirai is not yet commercially available in the UAE.

Construction of the hydrogen station started in May and was inaugurated on Wednedsay, October 11.

Research will also be undertaken at the Masdar Institute on hydrogen production and the feasibility of creating a hydrogen-based society.

During the Wednesday forum, Al Futtaim also demonstrated one of the perks of having this green vehicle —the quick tank-refilling of the Mirai which took between three to five minutes.

In January this year, Abu Dhabi’s top energy companies announced their collaboration with the Japanese carmaker to promote the use of hydrogen-powered cars in the Emirates.

With the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV), opening Toyota’s hydrogen-powered car Mirai to be put through toughest road test conditions in the UAE.

In 2016, the Toyota Mirai — which emits only water — underwent technical testing in the UAE and a small demo hydrogen station was set up at Al Futtaim’s Al Badia location.

Construction of the hydrogen station started in May and was inaugurated on Wednedsay, October 11.

Research will also be undertaken at the Masdar Institute on hydrogen production and the feasibility of creating a hydrogen-based society.

Government entities will be able to obtain a short-term lease of the vehicle to better understand FCVs.

A hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle produces power when the gas reacts with oxygen, generating electricity.

The vehicle fuels up much like a conventional car rather than being plugged in.

The 2016 Mirai model has a range of 502 kilometres on a full tank of hydrogen.

Electric cars typically have much shorter ranges and take longer to charge.

Based on available data, road transport accounted for 22 per cent of the UAE’s CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions in 2013.

In 2016, the UAE ratified the Paris Agreement, where 195 countries committed to reducing global warming to 2°C below pre-industrial levels

The agreement also calls on signatories to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emission in the next five years.

The biggest critic of hydrogen FCVs is electric vehicle entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who questioned the efficiency and economic viability of hydrogen as a fuel.

The promise of hydrogen as a fuel has been around for about 40 years, but batteries — lithium ion, in particular — have just improved in performance that certain earlier Tesla models have boasted of clock in more than 700km on a single charge, though such claims are hard to verify.

Source: Gulf News

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