SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, December 15, 2020 — Today, the eco-friendly fuel cell bus starts to hit the roads of Seoul. The fuel cell bus is also called an ‘air purifier on the move,’ as it emits no pollutants but purifies the fine dust.
While running on the road, the fuel cell bus emits clean water because its system removes fine particulate matter by 99.9% when the air with fine dust inflows into the vehicle and then it is combined with hydrogen. The fuel cell bus is acknowledged as the perfect eco-friendly transportation means because it does not emit pollutants such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) and greenhouse gases like CO2.
Meanwhile, the CNG (compressed natural gas) bus emits 968.55g of CO2 and 0.797g of NOx per 1km even though it does not emit fine dust during operation.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced to introduce the fuel cell bus for its regular city bus, Route 370. The first vehicle will start operation on Tuesday, December 15 while the remaining three units will be dispatched on Tuesday, December 22. The route of bus 370 covers the major points of the capital covering from Sangil-dong, Gangdong-gu through Gangdong station, Gunja Station, Sinseol-dong station to Jongno while also running the green transportation area. The Route 370 bus is expected to enable many citizens to experience the convenience of the fuel cell bus as the number of daily passengers stands at 27,000 as of 2019.
The route for the fuel cell bus was selected based on the status of refueling infrastructure. The Route 370 bus is found to be relatively easy to be refueled as there is the H-Gangdong hydrogen refueling station in a nearby garage, which is at the 2.4km one-way distance from Gangdong Bus Garage where the Route 370 bus is parked but has no hydrogen refueling station. The bus can operate full day after a single charge.
The H-Gangdong hydrogen refueling station is 211㎡ in area with a storage container, which started operation in May 2020. With the fuel cell buses newly introduced, the refueling capacity will be added in order to prevent any impact on other hydrogen car drivers. To ensure the seamless flow of refueling, the bus-only hour for refueling will be designated from 6 to 9 A.M. The refueling mass will be up to 30kg per day, which can make the bus run about 450km. The average driving range of the Route 370 bus amounts to 240~250km/day.
If run for 86,000km for a year, the hydrogen-powered bus (Route 370) would purify 418,218 kilograms of air (4.863kg/km), which is the same amount that 76 adults (65kg of body weight) can breathe in a year.
The introduction of the fuel cell bus is one of the key projects under the ‘Seoul’s Green New Deal’ (July 2020) Initiative.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government explained that there have been continuous requests for introducing the fuel cell bus as both passengers and drivers were satisfied with the lower frequency of abrupt start and stop and vibration compared to traditional buses during the pilot operation. The newly-introduced hydrogen-powered bus is expected to lead the environmental- friendly transportation system, improve the convenience of mobility and operational safety of the city bus, and finally enhance the quality of overall service of the public transportation.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to increase the number of fuel cell buses to around 1,000 units by 2025 and establish 11 hydrogen refueling stations to launch the era of fuel cell vehicles while taking a lead in facilitating the green mobility, the core element of the Green New Deal.
Hwang Bo-yeon, Deputy Mayor of City Transportation of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, “The bus can have a big impact if it is replaced by the zero-emission vehicle due to its long driving range. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will accelerate the transition of the public transportation into the eco-friendly system by introducing fuel cell buses in full swing, which is a key part of the Green New Deal, following the CNG and battery electric buses. We will expand the distribution of fuel cell vehicles and refueling infrastructure by 2025 so that many citizens can feel the convenience of hydrogen-powered vehicles while the city actively responds to climate change.”