Hydrogen vehicles coming to Edmonton International Airport

The Edmonton International Airport received it's first batch of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles on Thursday. As Adam Ziccarelli reports, many at the event believe this is the first major step to a greener province.

Some are calling Edmonton the hydrogen capital of Canada after the Edmonton International Airport announced its partnership to bring zero emission hydrogen vehicles to the capital region.

The new partnership between Toyota Canada and the Edmonton International Airport sees a fleet of 100 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles ready for use, with the goal of 5,000 zero emission vehicles in the fleet by 2028.

“This region is poised to lead hydrogen. We already produce 60 per cent of the hydrogen in Canada from Edmonton and the evolution from these first 100 cars into the 5,000 vehicle challenge is monumental.” said Myron Keehn, president and CEO of the Edmonton International Airport.

Hydrogen vehicles coming to Edmonton International Airport. (Photo Credit: Adam Ziccarelli, CityNews)

The vehicles cost around $50 thousand but are currently not available for consumers due to limited fueling stations in Alberta.

One of the biggest questions surrounding hydrogen and electric cars in Alberta is whether they’ll work in the cold. Toyota claims that’s no longer a worry.

“The by-product from combining hydrogen and oxygen is heat. So, unlike an electric car you’ve got an onboard source of heat. So, it’s a better option in many respects for a northern country like Canada,” explained Stephen Beatty, vice-president of corporate with Toyota Canada.

For most electric vehicle owners, it becomes a hassles to change habits, from charging the vehicle at charging stations and batteries not handling lost distance trips. These hydrogen vehicles can travel around 650 kilometers on 1 tank and fuel up similar almost as quickly as traditional gas-powered vehicles.

“It’s like filling up air in your tire or like propane. You have a nozzle you put the hose on and it fills it up,” said Keehn.

Hydrogen vehicles coming to Edmonton International Airport. (Photo Credit: Adam Ziccarelli, CityNews)

A minimal carbon footprint is one of the main reasons for bringing these hydrogen electric vehicles to Alberta. The airport says the vehicles will be used to transport people in the airport area, with goals of becoming car rental fleets and taxi fleets in the future.

“We really want to be bold and envision this new future and help create it here in Edmonton.”

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