The Korea Herald


Hyundai Rotem to test drive hydrogen tram

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : May 31, 2023 - 14:35

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Hyundai Rotem’s hydrogen-powered e-tram (Hyundai Rotem) Hyundai Rotem’s hydrogen-powered e-tram (Hyundai Rotem)

Hyundai Rotem, a railway, defense and plant systems provider under Hyundai Motor Group, is speeding up the commercial debut of the nation’s first hydrogen-powered electric tram, with a test drive set to be carried out in the coming months.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Wednesday, the company’s upcoming tram, equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, is expected to drive a total of 25,000 kilometers on two railway test tracks in Osong, North Chungcheong Province, and the industrial city of Ulsan, respectively, from June to December.

Following its debut at home, the company aims to enter into global markets, the ministry said. The tram has already gained global recognition as it won the main prize at the International Forum Design Award held in Germany on May 16.

Equipped with a hybrid energy system that combines hydrogen fuel cell and battery power, the tram is designed to drive about 150 kilometers on a single charge.

Hyundai Rotem said the eco-friendly transportation can also purify the air through air filters and humidifiers. Because the purified air is discharged after being used for creating electricity, the company added, it also helps improve the air quality outside of the tram.

The company stressed that the e-tram is also more cost-efficient than traditional trams as it doesn’t require the costly construction of overhead lines, since it can produce power on its own.

The e-tram is part of the ministry’s 42.2 billion won ($31.9 million) project to create an ecosystem for the hydrogen-powered e-tram industry.

Aside from the e-tram, Hyundai Rotem is also developing an armored vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells.