A hydrogen fuel cell electric bus is an electric bus that is powered by both hydrogen fuel cell and batteries. The hydrogen fuel cell stored on board the buses provides all of the energy for the vehicle operation, whilst the batteries are able to provide peak power to meet rapid acceleration and gradients. Since the fuel cell generates only water as an emission it will always be a zero emission bus.

The first hydrogen-powered fuel-cell buses began operating in Beijing China on an experimental basis in 2006. Currently Canada owned and operated the largest fuel-cell bus fleet in the world, having been put in operation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. In Aberdeen, Scotland, the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project currently operates the largest fleet in Europe.

A total of 62 new zero-emission hydrogen buses will soon be deployed in four cities across Scotland and Germany. The European Union (EU) H2BusEurope scheme introduced in 2018 includes 600 hydrogen buses and infrastructure worth 40 million Euros. Under this scheme, by 2020, Denmark alone expects the delivery of 200 hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric buses.

Early this year, Korea announced that it goals are to produce 6.2 million fuel cell electric vehicles and also building 1,200 refilling stations across the country by 2040. The Korean government plan required 35 hydrogen powered buses to be rolled out this year, this number to be ramped up to 2,000 by 2022 and to 41,000 by 2040. In Japan, Toyota announced that over 100 units of hydrogen fuel cell buses will be delivered in the Tokyo metropolitan area by 2020 for the Olympic Games.

According to estimates by global consulting firm McKinsey, the number of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) in the world could reach 400 million passenger vehicles, 15 million to 20 million trucks, and 5 million buses by 2050.

In December 2017, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) was entrusted by the Sarawak State government to conduct research on hydrogen technology. By end of April this year, SEB will launched the first hydrogen fuelling station in South East Asia (SEA) located in Bintawa, Kuching and will at the same time introduce three units of hydrogen buses on the roads of Kuching city as pilot vehicles as part of the practical fuel cell vehicle trials.

The 3 imported hydrogen-powered buses is a single deck air conditioned type with overall length of 9 meters. The buses will be equipped with 6 units of 40 litres hydrogen cylinders of 50 kW fuel cell modules from Ballard PEM systems. The bus is designed for 19 seats and 13 standing passengers, with space for wheelchair users and a stroller. The bus will be able to carry out a full day’s schedule of 600 KM with maximum speed of 90 KM/H.

Of the three buses, two units will be allocated to Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) to provide as free rides for both locals and tourists and the third unit will be used by Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) for SEDC’s hotels free bus shuttles.

Whilst most of the industrial hydrogen used in the world today are produced mainly from natural gas, however, Sarawak hydrogen production for its hydrogen buses refuelling stations are hydrogen produce through the electrolysis of water, using electricity from renewable energy from our hydro power dam for zero carbon sources. When hydrogen produced via these routes, the hydrogen fuel cell buses and SUVs offers a completely zero carbon solution to public transport.

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