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China Develops World's First Hydrogen-Powered Tram

Ian CrosslandMar 31, 2015, 9:20:00 PM

Chinese engineers have completed the world's first fully hydrogen powered tram.  A subsidiary of the China South Rail Corporation called Sifang spent two years overcoming some specific technological hurdles, but the tram has been completed, according to chief engineer Liang Jianying.

This tram differs from Chinese trains in that it tops out at around 43 mph, as opposed to the 200 mph that trains reach.  It has three cars and can carry as many as 380 passengers.

The ever evolving hydrogen fuel cell is able to be refueled in 3 minutes and produces only water as its exhaust.  It's a huge step forward for the Chinese transportation industry, as the country is acknowledged as a leading force in global emissions and potential reduction.  In 2013 they lead the world in renewable energy production and they generate more wind power than any other country.

Plans to start running this tram on public rail have yet to be announced.  Once it begins operation, one tank of hydrogen will run the tram for about three round trips, somewhere close to 62 miles.

According to the Xinhua state news agency, there is a plan to spend 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) over the next five years to build 10x the tram tracks throughout the country, bringing the total trackage to 1,200 miles, and to buy more trams.



Image Credit: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/china-develops-worlds-first-hydrogen-powered-tram