KUCHING, Sept 10: Sarawak will be creating history of sorts when three hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses hit the roads here in March next year. The state is the first in the region to initiate an emission-free bus programme.
Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese heavy commercial vehicles manufacturer Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacturing Co Ltd (Feichi) for delivery of the buses.
SEDC general manager Soedirman Aini signed on behalf of SEDC, while Feichi was represented by its general manager, Jiang Yong. The ceremony was witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and also present was SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain.
Abang Johari said Sarawak Energy Berhad had already built the hydrogen fuelling station in Bintawa, and that the initial batch of three buses would be “part of a pilot project and research” to have the state’s public transport system run on clean, sustainable energy in the long term.
“This is in tandem with the current worldwide trend to protect the environment. Reliance on fossil fuel to power industries and vehicles is unsustainable both environmentally and economically.
“Not only are fossil fuels diminishing and irreplaceable, they are also causing environmental damage and directly contributing to global warming,” he pointed out.
Feichi is based in Foshan, China, and was founded in 1971. It now has more than 40 years of experience in research and development, production and sales of buses of all kinds.
In 2015 and 2016, Feichi successfully developed and deployed its first batch of mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell city buses — the FSQ6110FCEGVG1 – in China. This same model will be introduced to Sarawak.
The buses are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system from Ballard Power Systems from Canada — the world’s leader in hydrogen fuel cell technology. According to test results from Ballard, its proton exchange membrane fuel cell system could achieve a lifespan of more than 15,000 hours.
In addition, Feichi hydrogen fuel cell city buses are true eco-friendly vehicles, where only water is emitted during operations, and the water can even be consumed. — DayakDaily