Toyota is building the world’s first megawatt-scale renewable energy and hydrogen generation factory at the Port of Long Beach in California.
The Tri-Gen facility will be powered by local agricultural waste when it comes online in 2020, making it the first Toyota business in North America to be run solely on renewable energy.
The Japanese firm claims the factory will have an output of 2.35 megawatts of electricity and 1.2 tonnes of hydrogen per day, meaning it could power 2,350 average-sized US homes and 1,500 vehicles.
Toyota says that it is fitting a hydrogen refuelling station at the site, enabling it to top up its Mirai fuel cell saloons when they arrive at the port, so that they are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.
Doug Murtha, Toyota North America’s group vice-president for strategic planning, said: “For more than 20 years, Toyota has been leading the development of fuel cell technology, because we understand the tremendous potential [it has] to reduce emissions and improve society.
“Tri-Gen is a major step forward for sustainable mobility and a key accomplishment of our 2050 Environmental Challenge to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from our operations.”
Toyota has been investing heavily in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and is one of the few car manufacturers publicly developing the fuel. It says that 31 retail hydrogen stations are now open in California, and is continuing its work to improve the infrastructure.
However, it isn’t turning its back on electrified vehicles. The maker of the Prius – the best-selling hybrid car in the world – recently announced that it had been investing in next-generation solid-state batteries.
It says its advancements could be game-changing, “dramatically” improving driving range.