Home China China Has Built the World's First Hydrogen-Powered Tram

China Has Built the World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Tram

With China being one of the world’s biggest polluters, we have to remember that back in 2013, China was a world leader in green energy.

Local scientists have developed the first hydrogen-powered tram in the world.

This will allow China to start to address the smog problems in their biggest cities.

The Qingdao Sifang Company, a subsidiary of China South Rail Corporation Limited, is the manufacturer. “It took two years for Sifang to solve key technological problems, with the help of research institutions,” said chief engineer Liang Jianying, according to the Xinhua news agency. But Liang did not give any indication as to when the tram would be in operation.

It is now off the production line in the coastal city of Qingdao. Hydrogen fuel cells are not new and have been around for a while. They are currently being used and tested in different types of vehicles, including buses. But nobody before had managed to use the technology for trams.

The tram can carry 380 people at a top speed of 45 mph, and can travel 60 miles on just one tank of hydrogen.

China Has Built The First Hydrogen Powered Tram Image: Screenshot/YouTube
China has built the world’s first hydrogen-powered tram. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Although still reluctant to set a target for slashing emissions, China is investing a substantial amount into green. They generate more wind power than any other country in the world, and their contributions accounted for almost 30% of all global investment in clean energy. With their continuing push for clean energy developments, China’s announcement of the production of a hydrogen-powered tram will add to their green commitment, according to IFL Science.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered tram rolls off the assembly line:

What’s so awesome about it is its only emission is water—the temperature inside the fuel cell will be controlled to stop any nitrogen oxides from forming—so it’s doing zero damage to the environment, and at the same time, it doesn’t sacrifice any practicality. It only takes three minutes to refill, and due to the relatively quick routes taken by Chinese public transport users, drivers will only have to refuel a few times a day. It’s also cheap to run, Science Alert said on their webpage.

The First Hydrogen Powered Tram Image: Screenshot/YouTube
The first hydrogen-powered tram off the assembly line. (Screenshot/YouTube)

“The average distance of tramcar lines in China is about 15 kilometers [9 miles], which means one refill for our tram is enough for three round trips,” Liang told the Xinhua news agency.

These trams may in the near future help cut China’s smog problem. The only issue is that it is just a start, and it may not make any real dent into the smog without other anti-pollution measures being put into place at the same time.

Troy Oakes
Troy was born and raised in Australia and has always wanted to know why and how things work, which led him to his love for science. He is a professional photographer and enjoys taking pictures of Australia's beautiful landscapes. He is also a professional storm chaser where he currently lives in Hervey Bay, Australia.

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