SEOUL -- Hyundai Rotem showcased a concept hydrogen-electric tram that would be used for a government-sponsored project to introduce South Korea's urban hydrogen-electric transport infrastructure.
At its factory in the southern industrial city of Changwon, Hyundai Rotem held a demonstration of remote driving in an event attended by Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo. Hyundai Rotem will test the hydrogen tram in the southeastern industrial port city of Ulsan.
Sung's office called for the localization and verification of core technologies for hydrogen trams targeting overseas clients, saying that as an economical next-generation urban transportation system, hydrogen trams would contribute to South Korea's early transition to a hydrogen economy.
Hyundai Rotem aims to develop trams capable of traveling more than 150 kilometers (93 miles) with a single charge at a top speed of 70 km per hour. A three-year pilot project will be carried out in the southern port city of Busan to establish a catenary-free light rail line covering 1.9 kilometers (1.18 miles).
Construction of the demonstration line in Busan will begin in 2021 at a cost of 48 billion won ($42.7 million) for completion in 2023. The line would be extended by 3·3 km. Metropolitan Transport Commission chairman Choi Kee-choo said that the project in Busan would accelerate the introduction of trams in South Korea.
"We will seek ways to introduce hydrogen trams in South Korea and enter foreign countries, along with catenary-free, low-floor trams," Choi said. If completed, it would mark the resurgence of urban tram networks that disappeared in the late 1960s.
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