Hydrogen fuel cells have an additional range of about 100 kilometers over the typical electric vehicle, which Nationwide Group said was one of the main reasons it opted for hydrogen.
“We know that with hydrogen there are fewer parts in the engine, fewer parts from a maintenance standpoint, so fewer problems can occur, and they have really impressive fuel ranges,” said Nationwide CEO Michael Stephenson.
Hyzon plans to deliver the trucks to RACV by the end of the year, which it hopes will boost additional sales.
Hyzon is targeting hundreds of annual vehicle orders from its largest plant in Melbourne, which is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
Hyzon’s Australian expansion will be completed just as much of BHP’s truck fleet needs to be replaced, which is expected to be around fiscal year 2027.
BHP chief executive Mike Henry said he hoped low-emissions options would be more established by the time BHP needed to invest in the new fleet.
Once operational, Hyzon said it expects to employ more than 100 people in engineering and manufacturing roles, with hundreds more indirect jobs expected across the supply chain.
A Hyzon spokesperson said Fortescue’s 10 buses, which are expected to be used to transport workers, will initially be manufactured outside Australia.
While hydrogen vehicles can usually be recharged in minutes, reducing the need for often expensive infrastructure, hydrogen remains expensive to produce and transport.
There are also far fewer hydrogen refueling stations on offer for commercial vehicles, although Hyzon said it had high hopes for the sector with the proper government support.
“We believe hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will play a vital role in decarbonising the transport sector and will be a key part of Australia and New Zealand’s energy security strategy going forward,” Mr. Edgeley said.