30 May 2016 | United Nations Development Programme-China News Release
Beijing – An energy efficient Fuel Cell city bus was showcased today at the United Nations Compound, Beijing during United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Goodwill Ambassador- Michelle Yeoh’s visit to China.
To promote clean energy transportation, a 12 meter fuel cell bus, supported by UNDP, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and produced domestically in partnership with Tsinghua University, SinoHytec and Beiqi Foton Motor, was driven around the streets of Beijing to raise awareness and highlight the importance of clean transport in China.
Ensuring access to reliable and sustainable transport is one of the top priorities outlined by the United Nations new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Michelle Yeoh, award winning actress and UNDP global goodwill ambassador for the SDGs highlighted the importance of SDG 7- affordable and clean energy, to mitigate the impacts of climate change and reduce pollution. “I’ve always been passionate about advocating for issues that really matter in life and I am really excited to be working with UNDP to promote the newly adopted SDGs. Access to affordable and clean transport is an urgent issue and today I am looking forward to learning about the benefits of fuel cell technology in China.”
UNDP has been pursuing the development of new energy vehicles (NEV) that can be recharged from non-fossil fuels such as electricity and hydrogen, these include electric vehicles, hybrid powered alongside fuel cell. With the financial support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP China has been working since 2003 to catalyze the cost-reduction of fuel-cell buses for public transport through a GEF project, Demonstration for Fuel-cell Buses Commercialization in China.
During his opening remarks Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China, discussed the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology for transportation in China, “the increasing demand on clean energy and wide application of hydrogen makes the realization of a hydrogen economy increasingly prominent and the prospect of a zero-carbon economy a real possibility. We hope this will eventually help in achieving the UN’s SDGs and contribute to making our world a better place.”
Fuel cell technology, that uses chemical energy from hydrogen to power the car, provides a sustainable and efficient alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and also to electric vehicles. Fuel Cell buses produce no emissions but water, resulting in no environmental pollution, and unlike electric vehicles recharge time for fuel cell buses is quick, 10 minutes for a 12 meter bus compared to 5 hours for an electric bus.
Together with MOST, UNDP have designed and implemented 2 phases of Global Environment Facility Fuel Cell Bus Commercialization demonstration projects. Having demonstrated that the technology works and achieved national buy-in, UNDP will begin the third phase, which aims to facilitate the commercialized production and wide application of FCVs in China by 2020.
Fuel cell buses were used as commuter and VIP reception vehicles during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (three buses) and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo (six buses), achieving 262,338 km in service mileage and serving of total of 126,586 passengers.
By showcasing the fuel cell technology UNDP and MOST hope to highlight the benefits of reducing dependency on imported oil, improved air quality for health, and the benefits to the environment and economy.
Looking forward, UNDP envisions a future which fully utilizes hydrogen as one of the main power source to meet the energy demand of the society and hope the development of this technology can contribute towards the achievement of SDG 7- affordable and clean energy for all.
Ms. ZHANG Wei, UNDP China Chief Communications Officer
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