THE first hydrogen powered car to venture out of Brisbane and up the Toowoomba range has completed an historic journey to the Darling Downs.

The 250km round trip was a milestone for Queensland’s clean energy industry, saving 22kgs of carbon dioxide while releasing roughly the same amount of oxygen seven adults breathe in a day.

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) project manager Reagan Parle said it was an important demonstration of what Queenslanders could expect to see on the roads within just a few years.

“Hydrogen is coming so it’s important we drive awareness of the opportunities so local business can get involved and not miss out on this growth industry,” Mr Parle said.

The hydrogen powered car preparing to climb the Toowoomba range. IMAGE: TSBE

The heavy vehicle transport sector is tipped to be the first to move to low emissions hydrogen power, and he said the Darling and Western Downs was ideally positioned to capitalise on the emerging technology.

“Vehicles that are currently diesel prime movers can be swapped out. There are manufacturers who are now making hydrogen prime movers,” Mr Parle said.

With CS Energy building a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant at Kogan on the Western Downs, Mr Parle said he believed the first hydrogen-powered freight vehicles could be on the roads by the end of 2023.

“Should CS Energy meet their timeframes, hydrogen will be available in two refuelling areas on the Warrego Highway,” Mr Parle said.

Leigh Kennedy from NERA checks what’s under the bonnet with Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio.

Leigh Kennedy from National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) said there was huge potential for hydrogen to be used in passenger and freight vehicles, aviation, marine and rail applications.

“The size of the prize globally for decarbonising hard to abate areas is phenomenal,” Mr Kennedy said.

“There’s going to be jobs for the future, for generations to come,” Mr Kennedy said.

Toowoomba mayor Paul Antonio said he’d love to see the city become a hydrogen hub and hinted key stakeholders were already being consulted.

“I’ve had some amazing discussions with some of the potential people, about building the electrolyses here in Toowoomba, that could be at a service station or a farm or something like that,” Mr Antonio said.

Watch the car in action here:

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