On the heels of the crop26 summit on climate change, a B.C. company and an international automaker struck a deal announced Thursday that will see the vehicles fueled by hydrogen.
GeaZone Eco-Couriers announced the launch in Vancouver of North America’s first hydrogen-powered courier fleet, which consists of 40 new Toyota Mirai fuel-cell electric vehicles that produce one tailpipe emission: water.
“In places where the fueling structure exists (only B.C. and Quebec, at the moment), hydrogen-powered FCEVs are the perfect zero-emission solution for organizations with fleets of high-use vehicles,” said Stephen Beatty, vice-president, corporate, at Toyota Canada Inc.
“We commend GeaZone for taking this bold and innovative step for their business,” Beatty added in a release, “and we hope their fleet of Toyota Mirai will help demonstrate the value of FCEVs to other fleet owners who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Beatty’s praise was echoed by Canada’s Minister of Energy, Bruce Ralston, who said the B. C. announcement “will help other businesses and communities reach their own climate change targets.”
A Toyota spokesman said that with infrastructure only recently being developed, sales of FCEVs like the Mirai have just started. With limited fueling infrastructure in place, sales are currently focused on fleet operators with vehicles based in parts of Canada where hydrogen fueling infrastructure exists, such as Quebec and B.C.
– Toyota Canada delivered 50 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to its first Canadian customer – the government of Quebec – in early 2019, making the company the first automaker to bring hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to Canada en masse.
– In July 2019, Ballard Power Systems, a global fuel-cell pioneer based near Vancouver, announced the purchase of a fleet of the Toyota Mirai zero-emission FCEVs.
– In February 2021, Toyota announced a partnership with ridesharing application Lyft, providing a fleet of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission Mirai for its drivers in the Metro Vancouver area.
Toyota continues to work with key hydrogen stakeholders to put in place the necessary fueling infrastructure to make FCEV adoption a reality across Canada, and recently, the federal government released its Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, setting an ambitious framework to make Canada a global hydrogen leader.
Meantime, GeaZone has big plans to expand and will go with hydrogen when it’s possible. Meantime, they’ll stick with good ol’ electricity. Said Andrew G. Mitchell, president and CEO:
“GeaZone Eco-Courier is looking to expand throughout Canada, and as of late we’ve had a lot of requests from our existing client base to do so. We are currently working to raise the investment capital needed for this growth.
“In areas where hydrogen is not available, we would use our 100 per cent electric delivery fleet, similar to what we’ve done prior to our latest enhancements with hydrogen vehicles. If the investment we’re seeking comes about, we could absolutely be operating our emission-free final mile delivery business in Ontario by 2022.”