Within the framework of a public-private alliance, an innovative project is being developed for the comprehensive manufacturing of the first 100% hydrogen bus designed in Chile .
This unprecedented initiative has brought together Anglo American , Colbún and Reborn Electric Motors , in collaboration with the Production Promotion Corporation (Corfo), to carry out a pilot that aims to operate on public transport routes in Chile.
With a total budget of U$755 thousand, which will be contributed equally by Colbún, Anglo American and Corfo, the responsibility for manufacturing will be carried out by the technological startup Reborn Electric Motors. In addition, the National Pilotage Center (CNP) and the Chile Foundation will participate as strategic partners in this collaboration. The roadmap establishes that the hydrogen bus will go through all phases of development at the local level, from engineering designs and prototyping, to commercial validation of the model.
This project is part of the strengthening of the Research and Development (R&D) policy aimed at promoting the implementation of Green Hydrogen in Chile, taking into account the environmental benefits associated with this fuel and the resources available in the country for its development.
Juan Pablo Schaeffer, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Anglo American, stated that participation in this project reflects the company’s commitment to the implementation of clean technologies.
“We are proud to promote a project as important as this, which combines technological development, a multi-sector alliance, State support, and collaborative work to face challenges of this magnitude. Green Hydrogen is key to addressing climate change, which is the main challenge facing humanity today”Schaeffer assured.
Meanwhile, Colbún highlighted that this achievement represents a crucial point in the advancement of the hydrogen industry in Chile . Heinz Müller, Manager of Innovation, Planning and New Business at Colbún, expressed his satisfaction for supporting initiatives that provide technological options to the transportation sector, thus contributing to the decarbonization process in the country. He highlighted that this project will also generate knowledge and skills that will remain in Chilean territory, marking an unprecedented milestone in this industry.
Hydrogen bus for public transport
The purpose is for the bus to be used in everyday situations, so once completed, it is expected to carry out pilot operations on public transport routes. In addition, an action plan will be established to facilitate the incorporation of the bus in Chilean schools and universities, with the aim of studying its future application through technology transfer.
Felipe Cevallos, who is the general manager of Reborn Electric Motors and co-founder of the startup, has a solid track record in the development of electric buses for the mining industry, as well as Green Hydrogen systems. Additionally, he recently represented Chile at COP 28 . In his statements, he mentioned that “ he is proud that Chile is positioned as a hub of development and innovation .”
Meanwhile, the executive vice president of Corfo, José Miguel Benavente, said that InnovaChile’s Crea y Valida financing line “ seeks to support the development of new and improved products and processes that require R&D, from a prototype to the production phase.” technical and commercial validation ”.
It is important to mention that the CNP, a technological center supported by Corfo, will carry out the pilot test, both of the functionality of the design and its performance on the road. “We will apply piloting protocols, measuring and validating the performance of the vehicle in different service conditions, information that will allow us to analyze its autonomy and raise the critical variables to plan the operation of the H2 bus in this version and the optimization of the units that will be produced in series. , subsequently”explained Andrés González, general manager of the National Pilotage Center.
About the hydrogen bus
The hydrogen bus will have a capacity for 24 passengers and will be able to reach a maximum speed of 90 km/h , offering an estimated autonomy of 450 km thanks to its fuel storage tanks with an approximate capacity of 20 kg.
This vehicle will be versatile, suitable to operate in various environments, whether industrial, urban or rural. The engineering development process will extend until May 2024, followed by the assembly and technological and technical testing phases, with the aim of being fully operational in the first half of 2025.
In perspective, it is planned to expand the use of the bus to mining environments and other productive segments of the country, thus contributing to sustainable transportation solutions. This will provide early access to hydrogen technology in Chile and increase the availability of suppliers of this type of vehicles.
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