A new company based in Port Kembla, NSW, hopes to revive the car manufacturing industry in Australia, and create up to 5,000 new jobs, through the production of a new hydrogen-fuelled SUV called Snowy in 2022.
The company, named H2X Australia, has plans to produce a range of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) including everything from people movers to heavy duty vehicles such as tractors and even trains.
Hydrogen as a truly clean transport option has some questions around it regarding emissions from its energy intensive production (it requires a very high share of clean energy to ensure the fuel is low emissions) and the high investment required for refuelling infrastructure.
Still, other companies are ploughing ahead. This week, US-based hydrogen vehicle maker Nikola surpassed US car giant Ford on Tuesday in market value and will open reservations for its Badger SUV in late June. It has pegged Australia as a first market. And H2X investors include companies involved in the renewables industry.
The H2X team is headed by CEO Brendan Norman, who has held executive positions in the past with VW in Saudi Arabia, Shanghai and Singapore, Audi in Japan and South Korea, and who has worked with Grove Hydrogen and Wales-based hydrogen car maker Riversimple over the past decade.
“We have substantial funding already to develop vehicles and get first the couple of vehicles into the market,” Norman told The Driven, in reference to the planned SUV in 2022, and the heavier vehicles also in the pipeline. These include platforms that would accommodate two fuel cell units with a 300-550 kw power output.
Norman is sad to see the end of Australia’s car manufacturing industry, and believes it’s time to remind the world of what it can do.
“Today we launch our company which not only demonstrates the advanced technology and engineering capabilities of Australia in the clean energy arena but also provides a real clean alternative in terms of transportation,” he said in a statement.
“With the development of many green energy projects in Australia at the moment, we have a unique opportunity to bring a significant manufacturing operation back to the country.”
To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…