The Malaysian Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Chong Chieng Jen, urged the Sarawak state government to reconsider its decision to provide hydrogen fuel cell buses as a form of public transportation in the city, citing that hydrogen technology for vehicles has yet to mature.
“If we buy these buses now, when the hydrogen technology changes, we are going to waste a lot of money,” he told the press, adding that the prices of hydrogen fuel cell buses are also double to that of conventional buses. He also noted that the state government would have to have a facility that converts water to hydrogen which will cost millions of Ringgit.
“I would like to caution the state government not to embark on such a flamboyant and impractical project. It may come up to nothing and we will definitely have to spend a lot more money to provide the hydrogen buses,” he said, urging the state government to provide more conventional buses.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had earlier announced that hydrogen fuel cell buses are expected to debut on the roads of Kuching city by March next year starting with three units of buses used as pilot vehicles for the state. He had assured that the cost of each bus will not be that expensive and that this was being negotiated.