Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed two renewable energy initiatives she says highlight the growing partnership between Japan and New Zealand as both countries work towards a greener future.
“New Zealand, like Japan, is embarking on a journey to become carbon neutral by 2050,” Ms Ardern said.
“We need to significantly transform our economy to get there, and Japan is a natural partner for us to achieve that in areas like geothermal energy and transport.”
The Prime Minister was joined by the head of Toyota NZ Neeraj Lala in Tokyo yesterday as he announced the launch of an innovative hydrogen-powered car-sharing scheme in Auckland.
The scheme will feature the Toyota Mirai – which uses zero emission fuel cell technology – in partnership with eight major New Zealand companies.
“Hydrogen powered-vehicles are one way we can reduce the emissions of our car fleet,” Ms Ardern said.
“New Zealand’s hydrogen-powered fleet will only grow, and hydrogen vehicles of all sizes need infrastructure to support them. I’m proud my Government is already supporting the roll-out of a series of refuelling stations to be used by heavy freight hydrogen trucks through $20 million from the Covid-19 Response and Recovery fund.”
The hydrogen-refuelling stations will begin to appear in the North Island later this year, built by New Zealand company Hiringa, together with Japanese partner Mitsui & Co.
Hydrogen infrastructure is also being developed in New Zealand by Japan’s Obayashi Corporation, which in partnership with Tuaropaki Trust opened New Zealand’s first-ever green hydrogen power plant. Obayashi’s investment in New Zealand’s hydrogen sector continues to grow through a partnership with Ports of Auckland to develop a green hydrogen production facility and refuelling infrastructure.
“Electric vehicles are also key to meeting our climate change targets and I encourage Japanese manufacturers to take advantage of the significant incentives we have in place to accelerate the uptake of EVs in New Zealand.”
The Prime Minister is in Tokyo on the second leg of a Trade Mission to Singapore and Japan, accompanied by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and a business delegation. The mission is supporting businesses to rebuild their in-person relationships within Japan – New Zealand’s fourth-largest trading partner – following the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an event at the iconic Tokyo Tower today, the Prime Minister was also joined by GNS Science chief executive Ian Simpson as he celebrated a New Zealand consortium opening an office in Tokyo to develop geothermal energy technologies in Japan.
GNS has operated in Japan for more than 30 years, and the consortium will bring new geothermal expertise into Japan, including technology which extracts lithium for car batteries in the future.