The Korean city of Ulsan and Hyundai Rotem have signed a memorandum of understanding to produce and test the country's first hydrogen-powered trams. The objective, if the test is successful, to build four urban lines, for a total of 48 km, with in particular a first 25 km by 2027.
Hyundai is one of the manufacturers most committed to the development of hydrogen vehicles, following the governmental strategy. In the automotive sector, the Nexo is the figurehead for hydrogen. With its subsidiary Hyundai Rotem, the Korean manufacturer has developed significant know-how in the railway sector, and the agreement with the city of Ulsan will enable it to test, in real conditions, a first hydrogen tram.
This follows the solution proposed in Riga for Hydrogen Trolleybuses, developed as part of the H2Nodes project.
Tested on a 4.6-kilometer line, currently unused, the first prototypes will also lead to the establishment of the complete ecosystem necessary for their operation: modernization of infrastructure and signaling systems, creation of hydrogen charging stations. . According to Hyundai Rotem, being able to deliver both hydrogen trams and charging stations will allow it to identify possible problems before the start of operation and thus build a more efficient maintenance plan.
Like all fuel cell vehicles, Ulsan's new trams will only produce water, but in addition they will be equipped with air filters capable of purifying around 800μg of particles per hour and releasing 107.6 kg of clean air. Similar technology has already been installed on the Hyundai Nexo hydrogen car. In terms of performance, they should be able to reach a maximum speed of 70 km / h, for a range of 150 km, with a single charge of their fuel cell of 95 kW.
In total, the city of Ulsan plans to invest nearly 850 million euros in its hydrogen tram project. Nearly 48 km of lines should be completed, more than half of which by 2027. Read more about the plans.