Hydrogen buses make good impression on China

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KUCHING: The performance of hydrogen-powered buses currently under trial operations mounted by Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd has impressed technicians from China’s Foshan Feichi Automobile Manufacture Co Ltd (Feichi).

In a press release, Feichi, the manufacturer of Sarawak Metro’s three hydrogen buses said its technicians were until recently unable to make any trips to Kuching to conduct scheduled maintenance works due to travel restrictions imposed by both the Malaysian and Chinese governments.

A representative from Feichi, Kingsley Zhou Jia Dong acknowledged the admirable work done by the local technicians over the past two years in ensuring the buses were safe and roadworthy.

“Although we have not been able to be here physically to conduct the maintenance and servicing for the past two years, we are all impressed by how the buses are performing.

“Sarawak Metro’s technical team has done a good job in taking care of the buses as all three are in very good condition,” said Zhou.

He added that over the past two years, Sarawak Metro’s team of local technicians were under Feichi’s continuous guidance, using digital platforms to communicate on a weekly basis.

Zhou also pointed out that the hydrogen buses are able to manoeuvre well on more challenging road conditions, such as some stretches of the Damai Loop route towards Damai Central, despite being designed mainly for use on flat and smooth city road conditions.

Despite the strict travel restrictions that are still implemented in China, three technicians were given special permission to travel here for two-weeks’ work to conduct the major scheduled maintenance works on the hydrogen buses.

Minister of Transport Sarawak  Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin expressed his gratitude for Feichi’s presence in Kuching.

“Feichi’s presence  shows that they are not merely here to service and repair the hydrogen buses but also shows their commitment to fulfilling their obligations,” said Lee, during a briefing session for MOTS on the hydrogen bus trial operations organised by Sarawak Metro, today.

Lee believes zero-emission vehicles are the future of transport, not only in Sarawak but all over the world, adding “they are an important part of global efforts to combat climate change.”

“As such, I believe that it is our responsibility to gain as much knowledge as possible on how we can incorporate such vehicles to benefit the daily lives of our people here in Sarawak,” he added.

The hydrogen bus trial operation passenger services are temporarily halted from Aug 6 – 21 as the buses undergo major maintenance.

The hydrogen bus trial operation has provided valuable insight into the workings of operating fleets of heavy hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), especially for public transport purposes.

The hydrogen bus service was introduced in January 2020 and the trial operation aims to gather data on the performance of the vehicles.

Kuching is the first city in Southeast Asia to introduce hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses for public use and the introduction of the hydrogen buses also serves to prepare for the implementation of Sarawak’s future zero-emission public transportation system as well as to advance the hydrogen economy agenda.

Lee (third left) in a group photo during his visit to the hydrogen bus workshop, together with Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Sarawak Datuk Buckland Bangik (second right), Sarawak Metro’s Chief Executive Officer Mazli Mustaffa (fourth right), Zhou (second left) as well as other representatives from the Ministry, Sarawak Metro and Feichi.

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