Car giant Toyota says to explore hydrogen fuel potential in the UAE

Japanese car maket to collaborate with Masdar, ADNOC on joint research program from May
Car giant Toyota says to explore hydrogen fuel potential in the UAE
By Staff writer
Sat 21 Jan 2017 01:26 AM

Global car giant Toyota has agreed to collaborate with UAE-based companies in a joint research program to explore the potential of hydrogen energy use in the Gulf country for the creation of a sustainable, low-carbon society.

As part of the program, Toyota will begin driving and refueling demonstration tests of the Mirai fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in the UAE from May, it said in a statement.

Toyota said it will work with Masdar, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Air Liquide, and Toyota distributor Al-Futtaim Motors on the fuel project. 

The program partners will jointly research on key issues involving the establishment of a hydrogen-based society, including hydrogen production, logistics, scalability, and business feasibility.

The research is expected to take place in part at Masdar Institute, an Abu Dhabi-based independent graduate research university, which has been part of the discussions on the scope of hydrogen research. 

Using a hydrogen station that is to be built in May, Toyota will conduct a complete range of driving and refueling tests under extreme heat, dust, and other conditions unique to the local environment.

Toyota said it will also provide short-term leases to the UAE government institutions and opinion leaders so as to promote better understanding of FCVs and hydrogen-based societies. 

“The UAE has vast potential for the expansion of hydrogen production. The country has excess capacity at hydrogen production facilities located at oil refineries, and the ability to produce hydrogen as a byproduct at caustic soda and other factories, not to mention the production potential from mega solar power stations,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation. 

“As the government continues to promote new initiatives and pursues the creation of a hydrogen-based society, the UAE is able to emerge as the world leader of next-generation clean energies,” Uchiyamada added. 

As a major oil-producing nation, the UAE has been dependent on oil as its primary industry. The government is currently promoting a new national agenda called the UAE Vision 2021, which prioritises air quality improvement, expansion of the use of clean energies, and to make the nation a world leader in infrastructure quality.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Masdar is thrilled to be part of this exciting and important initiative with Toyota, ADNOC, Air Liquide, Masdar Institute and Al-Futtaim Motors, which aims to unlock the enormous potential of hydrogen energy use in the UAE. Hydrogen can make an important contribution towards the UAE's target for a 50 percent low carbon energy mix by 2050.”

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