Chris Grayling MP was one of the first people to drive one of 50 new Toyota Mirai hydrogen- fuelled fuel cell electric saloons that are joining the London fleet of green private hire company Green Tomato Cars. He made the short journey from the Department for Transport offices in Westminster, with Jonny Goldstone, Green Tomato Cars co-founder and Managing Director and Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota GB President and Managing Director.
Chris Grayling said: ‘I was thoroughly impressed by the Toyota Mirai today and was delighted to be the first to drive one of Green Tomato Cars’ new zero-emission vehicles. Improvements in hydrogen infrastructure over the last year and the developing partnerships between the hydrogen power providers, manufacturers of hydrogen vehicles and end users, is helping accelerate the decarbonisation of road transport.’
The new cars are being supplied with support from the UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV*) Hydrogen For Transport Programme and the Zero Emission Fleet vehicles For European Roll-Out (ZEFER**) programme, an EU project, funded by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU***)
Jonny Goldstone, MD and co-founder of Green Tomato Cars comments: “We’re very proud to have pioneered hydrogen powered transport in London and are delighted with the performance of our two original Toyota Mirai. This is a unique project where investors in hydrogen technology, manufacturers of hydrogen cars and Green Tomato Cars as the end users, have come together with a commitment to make hydrogen transport work for the good of the people and the environment. We’d like to thank OLEV, the FCH JU and Toyota for their support in helping us acquire such a significant number of these innovative cars.”
Paul Van der Burgh, Managing Director and President of Toyota GB PLC commented: ‘We’re delighted that Green Tomato Cars have been happy with their Toyota Mirai cars and that they are taking 50 more. It’s clear that confidence in hydrogen powered transport is growing among end users, which is another step in the path towards a hydrogen society.’
The Mirai are expected to do the same average mileage as other cars on the Green Tomato Cars fleet, around 120-150 miles a day. A Mirai can travel up to 300 miles on a full tank of hydrogen, so the private hire cars should be refuelling every two days on average.
Green Tomato Cars was the first private hire company in Europe to take on hydrogen fuel cell cars in Europe, having had two Toyota Mirai cars on its fleet since 2015 completing over 25,000 miles a year in normal commercial operation.
Improvements in hydrogen infrastructure have increased the viability of hydrogen powered transport in the UK. Over the last year several new hydrogen fuelling stations have opened across the UK. There are a total of six stations within and around the M25. More are expected to be operational by the end of the year.