Electric buses more practical?

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii viewed that using bus powered by electric is more practical in Sarawak compared to using hydrogen bus.

He said Sarawak is rich in hydroelectric energy, and is there a need to explore the usage of hydrogen bus when electric bus can easily charge using the grid anywhere, anytime, without investing in a non-existent hydrogen infrastructure and distribution network.

“Wouldn’t investing in battery technology be more pragmatic and have more potential in comparison, especially taking account of our local strength that is hydroelectric,” he said in his Facebook post on Monday (June 29).
Earlier on Monday morning, Yii, together with Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen and other party members had waited for the hydrogen bus at the bus stop in front of Riverside Majestic but there was no sign of the bus.

He then said battery technology is developing much faster than electrolysis.

“We now have super capacitors that charges instantly, lower maintenance cost, superb lifespan that is already in advance trial even in China.

“Tesla (vehicle manufacturer) has also since announced the development of new low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use, making the price of electric vehicles more competitive and almost similar to the common gasoline engine cars,” he said.

Yii said if the Sarawak government intends to restart the usage of hydrogen buses, then it is imperative they reveal the cost- effectiveness of the usage of such buses, how much it cost per-km for the bus to travel in comparison to the common electric bus, especially since the cost of a hydrogen bus is almost double the cost of a common electric bus that is about RM 1.2 million per bus.

“We have to be pragmatic in addressing the core issues of public transportation in Sarawak. We already have readily available renewable and sustainable energy through all the mega dams in the state that can be pumped directly into a cheaper and simpler alternative, which is the common electric bus,” he stressed.