Federal backing needed to expand hydrogen bus service

Hydrogen bus at Hydrogen Refueling station.

KUCHING: Besides support from the Sarawak government, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) also needs federal backing to ensure the expansion of the hydrogen bus service to other parts of Sarawak.

SEDC chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Abdul Aziz Husain said service expansion meant there was a need to purchase more buses. 

He hoped the import of hydrogen fuel cell buses into Sarawak or Malaysia would be exempted from duty.

“I think the federal government should help us realise our hydrogen agenda. Then the price of this vehicles would be much lower and I think we will be able to afford more buses, which can be as competitive as diesel-powered buses,” he said at the inaugural Sarawak Hydrogen Association meeting at SEDC building here today.

Abdul Aziz was earlier asked when the hydrogen bus route be extended to other parts of the city.

“At the moment, our plan is to see the hydrogen buses used as feeder buses for our Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) system later on.

“Once, the ART system is in place, which also uses hydrogen, we would like to use the buses to be the connectivity to the other parts of Kuching.

“So, we will do that once we have everything in place, especially when we get the vehicle exempted from duty.”

The city’s free hydrogen bus service currently has two routes – the Downtown Heritage loop and the Damai loop.

The Downtown Heritage loop covers Kuching Waterfront, Central Timur, Ban Hock Road, Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kubah Ria, and the Malay Kampung Heritage Area.

The Damai loop covers Riverside Majestic Hotel, Sarawak Museum, Satok, Petrajaya, and Damai Central.