In this undated photo, a bus that runs on hydrogen fuel cells is charged by technicians in Rugao city, Jiangsu province. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Hong Kong’s first hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) double-deck bus will undergo trials within the year, while trials of heavy vehicles will be carried out next year, Under Secretary for Environment and Ecology Diane Wong Shuk-han said at Wednesday’s Legislative Council meeting.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government set up the Inter-departmental Working Group on Using Hydrogen as Fuel in 2022 as part of its efforts to follow the global trend toward hydrogen power utilization, speeding up the development of green energy in Hong Kong.
Trials of HFC double-decker buses and heavy vehicles will be conducted in an orderly and phased manner, according to Wong.
The first batch of three projects, including trials on the establishment of a hydrogen refueling facility at a bus depot, on one HFC double-deck bus and on a hydrogen extraction facility, have been initially approved by the working group
The first batch of three projects, including trials on the establishment of a hydrogen refueling facility at a bus depot, on one HFC double-deck bus and on a hydrogen extraction facility, have been initially approved by the working group. Preparations are also underway to test HFC heavy vehicles for refuse collection or street cleaning.
In addition to the planned trials, the government is studying the feasibility of setting up hydrogen refueling facilities in various areas and the transformation of existing gas stations into hydrogen ones. Hong Kong’s first hydrogen refueling station will undergo trials this year together with those of the first HFC double-deck bus.
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“How to reduce the production and transportation costs of hydrogen requires in-depth study,” said Wong, adding that, from a global perspective, resources are mainly allocated to research and development, trials and infrastructure construction as HFC vehicle technology is still in its infancy.
Making full use of the interim standards adopted in the trials of HFC vehicles, as well as the data and experience obtained, the working group will formulate a framework for the safe and long-term use of hydrogen power in Hong Kong’s transport sector.
The government plans to engage consultants to study the details of legislative amendments and conduct a business impact assessment in the third quarter of 2023, with a target to introduce proposed amendments to the Legislative Council in 2025.
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Drawing on the experience and scientific research of the cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and elsewhere in the world, the government is expected to release a roadmap for the promotion of electric public transport and commercial vehicles, as well as formulate a long-term strategy for the use of hydrogen fuel in land transport by 2025.
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