Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has put the first Toyota hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts outside of Japan into action during trials at Toyota Motor Corporation Australia’s parts centre located at its former manufacturing plant at Altona, Victoria.
The zero CO2-emission Toyota hydrogen fuel cell (FC) forklift demonstration is an extension of Toyota’s simultaneous trial for its Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which share the same hydrogen-powered technology.
The Toyota hydrogen FC forklifts with a nominal rating of 2,500kg lift capacity will also be featuring in the official opening of the new Toyota Parts Centre in Western Sydney’s Kemps Creek.
Toyota hydrogen FC vehicles take pressurised hydrogen that is fed into a fuel cell stack, where it is combined with oxygen to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity to drive various motors depending on demand for motive power or hydraulic power for steering, braking or lifting loads.
Toyota hydrogen fuel cell forklifts will be especially suitable for logistics and warehouse operations given they can be conveniently refuelled in just a few minutes, offering obvious productivity efficiencies.
Toyota Material Handling Australia general manager – corporate compliance and project development Bob Walmsley said the hydrogen FC forklifts take around three minutes to fill the hydrogen tank, compared with around eight hours to recharge a conventional battery. “This means we can use these forklifts more often, without having to significantly wait between charges or use second-shift batteries to achieve the same utilisation,” said Mr Walmsley.
TMHA president and CEO Steve Takacs said the Toyota hydrogen FC forklifts are another example of the synergies available to Toyota Material Handling Australia from Toyota’s automotive arm.
“In much the same way Toyota’s range of forklift products are researched and developed using Toyota’s advanced manufacturing technologies – and built to the same exacting standards of quality, durability and reliability as Toyota’s automotive vehicles – our engineers collaborate across the Toyota Group to incorporate the latest technologies acquired from our automotive sector,” said Mr Takacs.
“We at TMHA are committed to constantly developing new and better technologies that raise the bar in terms of safety, performance, efficiency and sustainability, which will ultimately benefit our customers.
“These hydrogen FC forklifts are a clear demonstration of our commitment to the environment through the adoption of new and sustainable technologies. They have excellent environmental credentials as they do not emit CO2 or substances of concern (SOC) during operation.
The hydrogen FC forklifts will also be trialled at Toyota’s newest and largest Parts Centre warehouse at Kemps Creek, New South Wales.
The Toyota hydrogen FC forklifts and Mirai are not for sale in Australia, mainly due to a lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Toyota’s mobile hydrogen fuelling station installed on a Hino 700 Series truck fuelled the FC forklifts and Mirai during the trials.