Emission-free fuel cell buses, which could help Beijing solve
its power shortage and pollution problems, began their rounds in
the city yesterday.
The three buses will run from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM during
weekdays, and follow an 18.2 km route through the northwest
suburbs, from the north gate of the Summer Palace to Wudaokou.
The DaimlerChrysler buses were purchased with UN grants to help
China research and develop environmentally friendly vehicles.
Only 36 DaimlerChrysler fuel cell buses are in operation
"Today marks the first public operation of fuel cell buses in
Beijing. It is also the first ever in China," Renaud Meyer, UN
Development Program (UNDP) deputy resident representative in China,
said at the buses' launch.
The buses are powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which produce no
A hydrogen refueling station, to be fully operational this
summer, will also be the first of its kind in China, added
The buses are running under a demonstration project to show that
fuel cell buses can be used commercially throughout the country
jointly launched by UNDP China, the Ministry of Science and
Technology and other partners.
Meyer said they would not only reduce damage to the environment,
but also offer a new solution to shrinking fossil fuel
"Through this project we can build a foundation for full-scale
commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell buses to promote
sustainable transport, the use of renewable energy and cleaner
air," he said.
Three fuel cell buses will also be introduced in Shanghai late
this year, said Wang Ju, director of the demonstration project
Wang said that, with international aid, Chinese scientists and
researchers would collect data on the buses' success to support
efforts to commercialize fuel cell technology.
Coal and oil, the two primary sources of air pollution,
constitute 90 percent of China's total energy use.
The transport sector, which relies almost entirely on fossil
fuels, is expected to account for most of China's oil demand over
the next 20 years. It is predicted that by 2010, the percentage of
emissions from big cities will represent 64 percent of total
emissions from all cities in China.
"That's why we must seek alternative fuel vehicles," Meyer
(China Daily June 21, 2006)