Hyzon Motors targets growth of Australian truck fleets

MELBOURNE, April 20 (Reuters) – U.S. vehicle maker Hyzon Motors (HYZN.O) said on Wednesday plans to build a green hydrogen depot in Australia, working with the country’s biggest towing company to boost the demand for trucks using hydrogen fuel cells.

The refueling depot, which is expected to cost around A$15 million ($11 million), is part of a joint A$50 million project between towing company Nationwide Group and Hyzon, a utility vehicle specialist in hydrogen fuel cell. The project includes an assembly plant.

Hyzon aims to have an assembly capacity of 1,000 vehicles per year at the site by 2026.

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“We have identified tens of thousands of heavy-duty vehicles that can switch to hydrogen in Australia in the coming years to not only improve our carbon footprint and local air quality, but also to provide absolute fuel security. and stable long-term cost structures for fleet operators,” Craig Knight, chief executive of Hyzon Motors, told officials at the company’s site in the Melbourne outskirts on Wednesday.

Nationwide has ordered three tow trucks and a heavy truck, all to be delivered in early 2023.

Ten hydrogen fuel cell buses were parked at the site for delivery to Fortescue Metals Group’s (FMG.AX) Chichester Creek iron ore mine in Western Australia.

Similar to Fortescue, Hyzon is focused on working with commercial heavy-duty fleet operators whose vehicles always return to base, where they can be refueled at a central location.

This removes a major barrier to the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – the lack of on-road refueling infrastructure.

“It’s not difficult. You only need to hit A$6 or A$7 per kilogram of hydrogen to have a very competitive cost structure with diesel,” Knight told Reuters.

“You don’t have to be at those fairytale prices of $1 or $2,” he said, referring to the fossil fuel price parity target cited by policymakers. , including the Australian government.

Hyzon delivered 87 trucks globally in 2021 and expects to deliver 300 to 400 vehicles in 2022, mostly in the second half, due to “supply chain challenges”, Knight said.

The main problem has been the delivery of chassis to its assembly plants in the Netherlands and China. Chassis that were due to arrive in 2021 only started doing so in March, he said.

Knight declined to give details on the regional sales split in 2022, but said it would be weighted in favor of China, with a recovery in Europe and Australia.

“We don’t break down the forecast by region or country because that implies a level of maturity in the business that doesn’t exist,” he said.

Nationwide is owned by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria.

($1 = 1.3495 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Bradley Perrett

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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