SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 21, 2018 — Eco-friendly fuel cell bus, dubbed as a “moving air purifier” with zero emission of pollutants and the effect of air purification will be dispatched to a regular city bus route (no. 405) from Wednesday, Nov 21st. The first fuel cell bus will run through the downtown in Seoul. Seoul will be the first city in the country to install “CNG reforming hydrogen refueling station.” The refueling station decomposes CNG to generate hydrogen. The hydrogen refueling station will be installed one of public garages with CNG refueling stations installed in Seoul in 2019. Fuel cell bus is widely renowned as the most eco-friendly vehicle. That’s because Oxygen containing fine dust in the atmosphere is injected inside of the fuel cell bus and is combined with Hydrogen to produce pure water where 99% of pollutants are removed. In terms of the volume of purified air, 1 unit of Nexo fuel cell electric car purifies the air inhaled by 43 adults. A fuel cell electric bus can purify the air inhaled by 76 adults..
The Seoul Metropolitan Government cooperates with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Environment for a pilot project of dispatching 1 fuel cell bus in the route no. 405. Next year, the city government will run additional pilot operation of 7 units. Seoul said that it plans to steadily expand the project in line with the volume of replacement and scrap of city buses for each year depending on the pilot outcomes. The fuel cell bus which will be introduced in 2018 will be temporarily operated for 10 months until August next year. (※ Pilot operation of fuel cell bus in 2019: 30 units (7 units in Seoul))
Fuel cell bus no. 405 will be refueled with hydrogen at a hydrogen refueling station in Yangjae-dong and will run from Yeomgok-dong Garage to Seoul City Hall 4-5 times a day. One single refueling will enable the vehicle to operate all day long. From next year, operation data of fuel cell buses will be indicated on the bus information terminals (BIT) at the bus stations. With this, passengers can check the arrival time of fuel cell buses as well.
Hydrogen refueling infrastructure is lacking for now. The number of hydrogen refueling stations will be increased from two this year to six by 2021. The Seoul city government will cooperate with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Environment and Hyundai Motor Company. Based on the cooperative effort, Seoul plans to newly install 4 hydrogen refueling stations in public garages in downtown of Seoul and other places by 2021, and run not only fuel cell buses, but also make fuel cell passenger cars available for public use. Hydrogen refueling infrastructure is expected to be a future catalyst as a core element of increasing distribution of hydrogen cars.
Particularly, 1 unit among the 4 newly-built hydrogen refueling stations is “CNG reforming hydrogen refueling station.” The installation is backed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy while the Seoul city government will provides the land. Unlike the hydrogen refueling stations already installed in Seoul downtown, the CNG-based hydrogen refueling station can immediately produce and supply hydrogen and deliver it in a stable manner, along with lower prices.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will announce the plan to introduce the fuel cell bus and build the hydrogen refueling infrastructure and sign an agreement on 4pm of November 21st (Wed). Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Minister of Environment, Deputy Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company will participate in the signing ceremony. After the signing ceremony, there will be a briefing session to explain about the fuel cell bus at Seoul Square and a demonstration to show how a fuel cell car can purify the fine dust. Also, the test driving will take place.
According to the agreement, Seoul city, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs will work together to 1) run a pilot operation of fuel cell bus in regular routes of city bus from November 2018, 2) cooperate to install hydrogen refueling stations, 3) expand the operation of fuel cell bus in 2019, 4) identify and improve the regulations to distribute fuel cell bus and build up refueling infrastructure, and 5) run a PR activities for citizens regarding the safety and eco-friendliness of fuel cell bus and refueling station. Last October, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced a plan titled “Leading city of Hydrogen car, Seoul” to distribute 3,000 fuel cell cars including fuel cell bus by 2022 and run a total of 6 hydrogen refueling stations by newly building up 4 stations by 2021.