South Korean rolling stock manufacturer Hyundai Rotem has revealed its Hydrogen fuel cell tram to the general public for the first time during the RailLog Korea 2023 exhibition in Busan. 

The next-gen transportation vehicle has been in development since 2021, as part of a project backed by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy; as well as the Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology, Korea Railroad Research Institute, Korea Automobile Research Centre and Ulsan Tecno Park. 

Hyundai Rotem said: “An even wider hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen production technology must be prepared to build a hydrogen society utilising a wider variety of hydrogen trains beginning with the hydrogen fuel cell tram. 

“To achieve this vision, Hyundai Rotem is developing liquid hydrogen engine trains to implement hydrogen energy across the rail industry while also building the hydrogen infrastructure.” 

Hyundai Rotem’s technology works by using hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity on board the tram itself which is directly used to power the tram and also stored in a battery which can provide extra power when the tram needs it. 

The hydrogen technology also purifies the surrounding air as it travels by collecting the oxygen it needs for the fuel cell reaction from the air through a filtration system and expelling only clean air.

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By GlobalData

The tram can travel 150km on a single charge, according to the company and generates 107.6kg of clean air and purifies 800 micrograms of fine dust for each hour of operation. 

In addition to developing the hydrogen tram, Hyundai Rotem has been preparing for its launch by building hydrogen fuelling stations and the Hynet Hydrogen Shipping Center, which will produce hydrogen by extracting the element from natural gases. 

Development of the tram is expected to finish at the end of 2023.

Hyundai Rotem has built a strong portfolio in the rolling stock industry including the first high-speed train designed and developed in South Korea, the KTX-Sancheon.