Footage courtesy of Channel 7.

Accelerating hydrogen mobility for a greener tomorrow

Navigating the road to net zero.

In an exciting move towards a net-zero future, Seymour Whyte is proud to introduce its first hydrogen-powered car.

The vehicle, a first in Queensland – where Seymour Whyte’s head office is located – is one of a limited number of hydrogen cars in Australia.

Hydrogen cars offer a green solution, producing zero emissions during operation by using hydrogen fuel cells. These cells generate electricity through a clean reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, emitting only water vapour.

Unlike traditional combustion engine vehicles, hydrogen cars contribute to cleaner air and reduced carbon footprints. Additionally, the use of renewable sources for hydrogen production enhances their sustainability, making them a promising option for a greener future.

Seymour Whyte has set itself an environmental ambition to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, and this involves looking at alternative fuels and technologies for its fleet.

Ravi Prasad, Seymour Whyte’s National Environment and Sustainability Manager, explains the strategy behind Seymour Whyte’s hydrogen vision:

“We are committed to being at the forefront of sustainable practices, and as part of our environmental stewardship, we aspire to be early adopters of cutting-edge, low, or zero-emission technologies, with a particular focus on hydrogen cars.”

“Our intention is not to embrace innovation for the sake of it, but rather to thoroughly assess and understand the opportunities and limitations that these new technologies present. Through proactive trials and testing, we aim to gain invaluable insights that will inform our strategic decision-making, ensuring that we not only contribute to a cleaner and greener future but do so with a well-informed approach.”

“This approach allows us to navigate the complexities of emerging solutions, refining our understanding before considering the scale-up of these technologies, ultimately ensuring a sustainable and impactful integration into our operations”.

Powering ahead with renewable hydrogen

In 2019, BP and BOC embarked on a groundbreaking venture, initiating a joint venture Renewable Hydrogen Production and Refuelling Project, supported by ARENA in Brisbane.

The Bulwer Island production facility, powered by a 100kW solar array and a solar-powered 220 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser, is a beacon of renewable hydrogen production at a commercially viable scale.

Notably, Brisbane now boasts Queensland’s first hydrogen refuelling station, with the capability of catering to a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Toyota’s signature hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, the Mirai Gen 2, offers a zero-emissions solution.

Powered by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, it produces no tailpipe emissions other than water.

With a range of up to 600km on a full tank and a refuelling time of less than 4 minutes, the Mirai ensures zero-emission travel without the constraints of range anxiety, providing a compelling alternative in the evolving electric vehicle market.

Hydrogen on the horizon

Investing in hydrogen innovation demonstrates a commitment to market transformation and pioneering solutions.

In response to the increasing demand for progressive infrastructure delivery, Seymour Whyte is actively embracing the decarbonisation challenge, fostering innovation, and engaging in collaborative initiatives to refine market opportunities.

These strategic efforts, such as a notable partnership with Toyota and upcoming collaborations, position Seymour Whyte in future hydrogen projects, including the conversion of heavy vehicles and plant machinery.

On a national scale, Australia’s hydrogen investment pipeline solidifies our role in the country’s decarbonisation journey, with over 80 renewable hydrogen projects in the pipeline.

As we navigate the evolving hydrogen landscape, Seymour Whyte aims to play a role in shaping the future of sustainable infrastructure and collaborative innovation.

Growing a global hydrogen ecosystem

On a global level, Seymour Whyte’s parent, VINCI is playing a key role throughout the hydrogen value chain.

In 2021, VINCI — in partnership with key players — launched the world’s largest fund exclusively dedicated to clean hydrogen infrastructure solutions, underpinning its commitment to sustainable energy.

Under the aegis of a new brand known as Hyfinity, VINCI Construction has brought together all the expertise required for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of low-carbon hydrogen projects.

VINCI’s reach extends further with VINCI Concessions and VINCI Airports fostering hydrogen mobility infrastructure.

VINCI Concessions made its first investments in hydrogen road mobility in 2022:

  • Firstly, by contributing €10 million to a fundraising round by H2 MOBILITY, the leading provider of road transport hydrogen charging points (90+) in Germany, whose ambition is to expand its network to 300 stations by 2030, and;
  • Secondly, by investing €15 million in Hype, France’s first integrated hydrogen mobility platform. Hype, the chosen partner, operates a substantial hydrogen taxi fleet and is at the forefront of developing integrated hydrogen mobility solutions.

VINCI Airports is integrating hydrogen into its operations through various initiatives such as:

With VINCI’s substantial investment in hydrogen technology and its strategic partnerships, Seymour Whyte is well-positioned to draw upon global insights and innovations.

In embracing the hydrogen horizon, Seymour Whyte looks forward to driving positive change, and contributing to sustainable and hydrogen-powered mobility and hydrogen infrastructure development.