Al-Futtaim pushes for hydrogen fuel in UAE
Al-Futtaim Motors, the exclusive distributor of Toyota and Lexus in the UAE, in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation, has proposed to conduct a new study in the field of sustainable mobility.
The study will assess the feasibility of establishing a hydrogen-based society in the UAE. As part of the study, a pilot plan will be put in place to test Toyota’s zero-emission Fuel Cell technology through a number of hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Toyota Mirai vehicles, in order to check their viability in the UAE.
Al-Futtaim Motors has also finalised a partnership with Air Liquide, one of the most established suppliers of hydrogen stations in the world, who will support Al-Futtaim Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation in their assessment of hydrogen as a clean energy solution for the UAE.
Air Liquide is currently setting up the first hydrogen fuelling stations in Dubai, to enable the pilot program.
Industry experts generally believe that the hydrogen fuel cell is the only viable future emission-free technology to replace the combustion engine, but some experts believe that hydrogen fuel cell cars will never become economically competitive with other technologies.
The hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai is one of only two commercially produced vehicles, the other being the Hyundai ix35 FCEV, commentators have estimated that the Mirai, which is sold for US $100,000, may cost as much as US $200,000 to produce.
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and the architect of the electric Tesla Motors vehicles, stated in 2015 that fuel cells for use in cars will never be commercially viable because of the inefficiency of producing, transporting and storing hydrogen and the flammability of the gas, among other reasons.
Professor Jeremy P. Meyers estimated in 2008 that cost reductions over a production ramp-up period will take about 20 years after fuel-cell cars are introduced before they will be able to compete commercially with current market technologies, including gasoline internal combustion engines.