A prototype of the autonomous rapid system has been on trial at Isthmus, a green industrial zone located just outside Kuching.
For the past few months since August, Sarawak Metro, which has been tasked to develop the urban transport network, has been collecting technical data on the vehicle movement guidance and hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system.
Besides the ART, three hydrogen buses have also been on trial runs in the heart of the capital since 2020, and more than 18,000 passengers have gone on them.
Sarawak state Transport Minister Lee Kim Shin said: “Our three hydrogen buses, according to the manufacturer, are the first outside of China in a tropical climate doing these trial runs.”
These buses can run for about 250km on a single refill, he added. “For electric vehicles (EVs), the problem with the batteries is that after five years or so, the battery life is out. How do you dispose of the lithium batteries? It also becomes an environmental hazard.”
The refuelling for hydrogen, he noted, is much faster than charging a battery.
Although there is no retail price quoted right now for hydrogen, it is expected to be less than US$10 per kg.
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