Al-Futtaim Motors, leader in sustainable mobility and exclusive distributor of Toyota in the UAE, in collaboration with Air Liquide, one of the most established suppliers of hydrogen stations in the world, have jointly inaugurated the UAE’s first hydrogen station in Dubai Festival City, to be used by Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).
The new facility comes following the announcement made at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week earlier this year where Toyota’s Chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, announced the launch of a collaborative study about the feasibility of establishing a hydrogen-based society in the UAE, aiming at drastically lowering CO2 emissions, in line with the UAE Vision 2021.
The new Al Badia-based hydrogen station will enable larger-scale deployment of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles as part of a pilot program which started in May 2017, aiming at testing the zero-emission FCEV technology on UAE roads.
Using cutting-edge technologies, such as Toyota’s proven electric propulsion system also available in hybrid cars, FCEVs such as the Toyota Mirai, run on hydrogen rather than petrol, emitting only water from the tail pipe. In the onboard Fuel Cell Stack, hydrogen combines with oxygen in the air to generate electricity that powers the vehicle's electric motor.
Bertrand Thiebaut, Senior Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Motors and Senior Vice President Al-Futtaim Automotive Group said “The pilot which started with only three Toyota Mirai vehicles, will soon expand to involve a larger fleet that will be tested by key stakeholders in the UAE”.
“With the inauguration of the UAE’s first hydrogen station in partnership with Air Liquide, we are one step closer to a low-carbon society, as we work towards a concrete contribution to a cleaner air, in line with the Government’s green agenda.”
Also speaking at the event, Matthieu Giard, Dubai Hub Executive Vice President for Africa, Middle East and India at Air Liquide, explained the potential of hydrogen for a cleaner transport solution: “Air Liquide is developing clean transport solutions to help reduce the environmental footprint. Hydrogen is a key enabler for an effective transition to a low-carbon economy aiming at improving air quality in our cities. This first hydrogen station installed in partnership with Al-Futtaim Motors in the UAE is a first step for a large-scale deployment of hydrogen energy in this region. We are proud to bring our expertise and technology to create a more sustainable society, allowing all parties to contribute to meeting energy and environmental targets.”.
Unlike battery-powered electric vehicles, the Toyota Mirai delivers a performance that competes with traditional petrol engine cars, does not require external electric charging, can be refilled with hydrogen in less than 5 minutes and is able to travel up to 500km+ on a full tank. Once deployed on a larger scale, the Fuel Cell Electric technology has the potential to significantly reduce the UAE’s dependence on oil and lower car-generated pollution levels.