Dubai gets hydrogen filling station

Posted on Oct 13, 2017 by

The UAE’s first filling station opens in , but what are we supposed to fill up?  Psst… it’s the new Mirai

toyota mirai

Images are for illustrative purposes only

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, though if you landed here from another dimension you’d guess it was actually 98 Octane that’s in first place, with our region’s love of big V8s in bigger cars.

The UAE is doing something about this insatiable thirst however, as part of the nation’s socio-economic aspirations outlined in Vision 2021, a plan that aims to see the country transformed particularly in the sustainability and environmentalism areas, which have been sorely neglected.

The latest move comes from Al-Futtaim Motors, exclusive distributor of Toyota vehicles in the UAE, having just collaborated with French gas giant Air Liquide to inaugurate the first hydrogen filling station in the country, located in Dubai Festival City.

toyota mirai

The station is dedicated to fuel-cell vehicles that use hydrogen to power electric motors and emit nothing but pure water in the process. The opening of the hydrogen station follows the announcement by Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last week, where the manufacturer laid out plans to study the feasibility of vehicles in the UAE.

“We are one step closer to a low-carbon society, as we work towards a concrete contribution to a cleaner air, in line with the Government’s green agenda,” said Al-Futtaim VP, Bertrand Thiebaut, at the inauguration.

The only car around that runs on hydrogen in the UAE is the , which is in the country as part of a pilot program that started running earlier this summer to test fuel-cell vehicles. The program began with three Mirais running about but thanks partly to the hydrogen station opening up in Dubai Toyota will now be adding more to the test fleet.

Unlike plug-in electric vehicles, the Mirai doesn’t need charging and can have its hydrogen tank topped up in roughly five minutes, enabling a range of 500km on a full tank, and performance on par to a conventional petrol-powered car.

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