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Toyota, the only Fieldays site powered by clean energy

Toyota is a familiar face at Fieldays, however, this year their site is powered by a Toyota Hydrogen generator, sitting silently in their tent providing clean energy to the stand while emitting nothing but a few drops of warm water. 

The generator was developed in partnership with a European technology company, using a fuel cell similar to the power unit inside the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai car. Andrew Davis, Vice President Toyota NZ, says that over the show’s duration, they believe they will use around 24kg of green hydrogen. 

Toyota is keen to build a ‘hydrogen society’ in New Zealand and in turn build more resilience in their business. 

“And hydrogen for us was perfect as Japan allowed us to use this type of technology and experiment with it,” says Neeraj Lala, CEO Toyota New Zealand Limited. “So there are three programs at the moment, the Mirai ‘private car share program’, which we partner with 10 other corporations, that’s going really well. 

Toyota, the only Fieldays site powered by clean energy

“The second one is the Team New Zealand and the America’s Cup chase boats, we’ve sold 12 fuel cells for 6 boats. So when it starts in September, all the fuel cells for those have been supplied by Toyota New Zealand as a kit with a partner in Christchurch. And of course the third part of the hydrogen businesses are these generators.” 

Neeraj adds, “The Team New Zealand project is not necessarily a marine project. It’s a fuel cell project. There’s a huge demand for fuel cells, currently there’s a fit out going into a truck in Christchurch, so it’s just opening the door on lots of other opportunities where we feel cells may be used specifically in the commercial sector.”

Neeraj says that the one they have on site has been sourced from Europe, but they’ve just signed an agreement to get them from Melbourne.

We’ve got three pretty much confirmed, and forecast to sell around six at the moment.”

Toyota NZ is working in partnership with Generator rental services, as they wanted to partner with someone that was in the industry, with Toyota being the distributor here in NZ, as it helps them remain part of the hydrogen supply and access side. It allows us, through them, to offer a hireage rather than sale. 

“We would love to have those as backup generators at the major hospitals around NZ. Because if you think of storage, diesel tanks are at times ‘problematic’ with diesel going off – not so for hydrogen.

Drew says that the Hydrogen generator is so quiet that if you’re running an event, there’s no way you’d take a diesel generator in preference. And with their generator saving just over 1000 kilograms of co2 over the Fieldays event – he’s probably right. 

Neeraj ends by saying, “But the key thing here is that it’s an opportunity for us to feed into innovation in New Zealand and it’s also an opportunity for us to support the hydrogen society in terms of its progress and development.”

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