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15 Mar 2024

New Zealand has started trialling the use of a hydrogen generator for electric ground vehicles

Amy Power
New Zealand has started trialling the use of a hydrogen generator for electric ground vehicles

Wellington Airport, in New Zealand, is trialling a new technique of charging their ground vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell power generator.

This new EODev hydrogen generator system was provided by Toyota New Zealand and Hiringa Energy is providing the required hydrogen.

This project has been set up as a collaboration between Air New Zealand, Wellington Airport, Toyota New Zealand and Hiringa Energy. Collectively, the companies will work on creating a trial, with the purpose of assessing how feasible it is for the vehicles to be charged by hydrogen. Further to this, the companies will also be evaluating what potential this method has for the future of fuelling aircrafts. This trial started on the 4th of March and finished on Friday the 15th of March.

It was in February of 2023 that Air New Zealand made an agreement with Universal Hydrogen, that resulted in the idea that hydrogen conversion kits could be installed on the airline’s regional fleet.

Senior Sustainability Manager at Air New Zealand, Jacob Snelgrove, commented, “Green hydrogen is starting to be used around the world as a low-emission fuel for buses, trucks, trains, and boats. Aircraft are the logical next step and successful test flights are already underway overseas.” Snelgrove also mentioned that ‘the “biggest” challenge is New Zealand was setting up the supply, transport and infrastructure to support hydrogen fuelling in aircraft, adding the trial was “an important first step to enable the development of the system.”’

Chief Executive of Wellington Airport, Matt Clarke, added, “The trial helps us assess the viability of hydrogen for charging and gives us a good insight into the operational challenges and opportunities.”

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