Toyota bets on hydrogen to change the UAE mobility landscape
After launching the Toyota Prius hybrid electric car in the UAE in 2016, the company introduced the zero-emission hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric Toyota Mirai in 2017, aimed at studying the possibilities of establishing a hydrogen-based, carbon-free society.
As part of the programme, the Mirai is being showcased to government stakeholders and is taking part in a number of events to give the public an understanding the future of zero-emissions motoring.
In December 2017, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai launched the trial run of the Toyota Mirai as part of the Dubai Taxi Fleet, in collaboration with Al Futtaim Motors.
The RTA also announced that it will start a trial run of the vehicle as part of its limousine service in the Dubai International Airport to assess the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of its operation and verify the efficiency of the engine, maintenance cost and other parameters.
In 2017, Al Futtaim Motors, in collaboration with Air Liquide, opened the first hydrogen refilling station in the UAE at the Dubai Festival City.
Toyota also announced a collaboration agreement with Masdar, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Air Liquide, and Al-Futtaim Motors in a joint research program to explore the potential of hydrogen energy use in the UAE for the creation of a sustainable, low-carbon society.
Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centres on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs).
Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option.
This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models.
Matthew Clark, general manager, Toyota sales operations, Al-Futtaim, said: “HEV technology is a readily available solution for the UAE’s environmental challenge. The first hydrogen refilling station in the UAE is the stepping stone for the gradual detachment from fossil fuel and a greater reliance on electric power through the promotion of fuel cell electric vehicles.”
Dr Katsuhiko Hirose, professional partner and senior advisor for future technology, Toyota, indicated the potential of hydrogen to change the global mobility landscape. He said: “Now more and more renewable energy is being used but it needs a vector to transport and store it. Hydrogen is the ideal storage solution and it will play an important role not only in the transport sector in the decarbonisation of the whole society.”