Hyundai Motor Company to Introduce Platforms for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses at the End of Next Year

Jul 22, 2016

Hyundai Motor Company is going to introduce buses that are designed with platforms for hydrogen fuel cells at the end of next year.
Previous hydrogen fuel-cell buses are buses that remodeled version of CNG buses. If there are platforms specifically for hydrogen fuel-cell buses, it will be much easier to mass-produce them and possible to localize parts. Hydrogen fuel-cell buses are receiving spotlights as buses that will replace CNG buses that emit greenhouse gases. When these buses are mass-produced, there will many demands with local governments at the center.
According to an industry, Hyundai Motor Company is going to compose these newly-designed platforms by end of this year and introduce new hydrogen fuel-cell buses at the end of next year at the earliest. These new platforms will also be used for hydrogen fuel-cell buses that will be used as shuttle buses during 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Not only is a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle a 100% eco-friendly vehicle that does not emit any particle matters but it rather has an ability to purify these matters. Single hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has an ability purify exhaust gases from two diesel vehicles. According to Hyundai Motor Company, single hydrogen fuel-cell bus can decrease particular matters that are emitted by 40 to 50 mid-sized sedans. If there is same number of hydrogen fuel-cell buses as there are CNG buses (about 30,627 buses) in South Korea, theoretically particular matters that are emitted from 1.22 million to 1.53 million mid-sized diesel vehicles can be reduced.
Problems regarding hydrogen fuel-cell buses are that they are really expensive and cost of establishing charging stations is expensive also. Hyundai Motor Company predicts that these buses first can be used as methods for public transportations that can be actively introduced by South Korean Government or government departments and have limitations in movements and is working on commercializing them as soon as possible.

Concept diagram of a hydrogen fuel-cell bus purifying particle matters
<Concept diagram of a hydrogen fuel-cell bus purifying particle matters >

China also considers these facts and is currently carrying out a project that will verify hydrogen fuel-cell buses with Canadian businesses to develop hydrogen fuel-cell buses that are advantageous in medium and long-distance transportation.
“Air filters from hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can purify 99.9% of particle matter from the air.” said a representative for Hyundai Motor Company. “They can also purify most of chemical matters including SOx.”
Hyundai Motor Company first developed hydrogen fuel-cell buses in 2005 and had used them for demonstrations during international events and others. All of these buses were also remodeled version of previous bus platforms. Hydrogen fuel-cell buses that are going to be developed this time will use platforms specifically for hydrogen fuel-cell buses.
Hyundai Motor Company also participated in Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s 2nd Industry Major Technology Development project to choose variety of domestic parts including a new type of hydrogen fuel-cell stacks that are appropriate for these buses.
Hyundai Motor Company is currently working with local governments to have hydrogen fuel-cell buses operating as soon as possible because local governments have high interests in these buses since they can greatly reduce particle matters. It is heard that Hyundai Motor Company is currently working with Seoul-si and others to commercialize these buses after development.
“Although hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are eco-friendly vehicles as they only emit water, there are limitations to use them as normal vehicles due to problems regarding cost.” said a representative for an industry. “They are most effective for public transportations since they have a lot of advantages in long-distance driving.”
Staff Reporter Mun, Bokyeong | okmun@etnews.com

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