Sasol, the integrated chemical and petrol company, has partnered with Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) to develop a pilot project for the development of hydrogen-powered heavyduty long-haul trucks. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)
Sasol, the integrated chemical and petrol company, has partnered with Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) to develop a pilot project for the development of hydrogen-powered heavyduty long-haul trucks. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Sasol partners with Toyota SA to develop hydrogen-powered long-haul heavy-duty trucks

By Dineo Faku Time of article published Apr 15, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - SASOL, the integrated chemical and petrol company, has partnered with Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) to develop a pilot project for the development of hydrogen-powered heavyduty long-haul trucks.

The hydrogen-powered heavyduty long-haul trucks will be part of developing a mobility corridor, which will be expanded on the N3 between Durban and Joburg, the country’s main freight corridors.

The group said the pilot project was part of an ambitious plan to explore the development of a South African green hydrogen ecomobility system.

Sasol president and chief executive, Fleetwood Grobler, said one of the focus areas for Sasol in South Africa was to provide a comprehensive and sustainable mobility solution, and that hydrogen and electric vehicles with refuelling and charging infrastructure formed part of this sustainable future.

“We believe hydrogen mobility is a real opportunity for the country to decarbonise the sectors of long-haul and heavy-duty transport, mining and others and see the creation of hydrogen hubs, or ecosystems, as a practical and affordable way to scale the deployment of hydrogen in the transport sector,” Grobler said.

He also said the pilot project with TSAM would be a step towards South Africa’s decarbonisation. “If we do it well it can be an impetus for the South African automotive industry to manufacture that (trucks) locally, and if we can use green hydrogen in that application, those trucks will really be decarbonised.

“There are zero emissions out of fuel cell electric vehicles not like petrol cars or diesel cars which have emissions associated with them,” said Grobler.

TSAM is expected to lead the investigation of the FC truck introduction, with Sasol supporting in providing the required infrastructure expertise. TSAM president and chief executive, Andrew Kirby, said it made sense to partner with Sasol, given its commitment to develop hydrogen mobility infrastructure in South Africa, which was a muchneeded enabler to introduce hydrogen products to the country.

“Toyota envisages this partnership will also create the environment for others to get involved in the hydrogen mobility value chain thereby making sustainable contributions to the South African economy,” said Kirby.

Kirby said Toyota had been at the forefront of hydrogen technology innovation, having introduced the Mirai, the world’s first commercialised hydrogen fuel cell electric sedan, in 2014. “Our development of hydrogen fuel cells commenced in 1992 and has evolved to offer our system the flexibility to be used not only in cars, but to also produce zero-emission power in multiple applications – including trucks, urban bus fleets, forklifts and generators,” Kirby said.

Sasol is under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and has a roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa by at least 10 percent by 2030 – working off a 2017 baseline.

Toyota has defined aspirations towards 2050 by way of six challenges, each of which is accompanied by globally committed stringent goals. The company’s biggest contributor to the realisation of the 2050 challenge is expected to come from diversification of and positioning the ideal mix of new energy vehicles powertrains.

On Tuesday, Sasol announced that it was starting a huge green project and in partnership with Air Liquide had launched a tender to procure a whooping 900MW of renewable energy, representing the largest power procurement deal in South Africa’s history.

Meanwhile Sasol also yesterday announced it was partnering with the LEN Consortium – to bid in concept for the production of sustainable aviation fuel under the auspices of the German Federal Government’s H2Global auction platform. The LEN Consortium will enable Sasol to work with worldclass partners on the opportunity, employing its extensive experience to produce liquid fuels and chemicals with Fischer-Tropsch technology.

Sasol shares closed 4.13 percent up at R234.43 on the JSE yesterday.

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