Hong Kong will put hydrogen buses to the test “within three years” as part of the new Climate Blueprint announced as part of the Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address.
Speaking at a press conference today, Environment Secretary Wong Kam Sing said zero-carbon transport was an important part of Hong Kong’s climate strategy and the territory would be aggressively pursuing new technologies.
When asked details of the new buses, Wong deferred to Transport Commissioner Rosanna Law, who said technical details of bus and fuel supply needed to be worked out.
“The supply and transportation of hydrogen, these are areas still under study by countries around the world at an R&D level, and there are a lot of studies and technology advancements that have to be done before that can be widely applied,” she said.
Bravo Bus, which runs New World First Bus and CityBus in Hong Kong, says its team has significant operating experience with hydrogen buses in the UK and presented their experience to Transport Department in July this year.
Adam Leishman, Bravo’s Chief Executive, earlier outlined his London hydrogen experience, with 215,000 hours of service covering more than 2 million kilometres using Ballard fuel cells. Leishman says he led London’s pioneering hydrogen bus operation from 2013 to 2018 in his role as Group CEO of international transport operator, Tower Transit.
The firm used a mix of buses from Wrightbus, which launched its first hydrogen double-decker in 2016, and VanHool, which has offered hydrogen buses since 2005.
Bravo Head of Special Projects, Jonathan Ziebart, said the Hong Kong company had an “informed platform” to move forward in Hong Kong.
“Our former experience of operating hydrogen fuel cell buses in London provides us with an informed platform from which we can develop a bespoke hydrogen solution for Hong Kong. We believe that hydrogen provides a practical solution to counter the demanding climate, topography and additional challenges of the local operating environment,” he said in July.
A source with knowledge of the industry said Bravo Bus would likely be sourcing its Hong Kong hydrogen buses from mainland China.
The government’s commitment to zero-carbon transport is welcome. I hope that this includes, as shown here in London, cycle parking at all bus stations. And complete support for cycling as local transport.