Costa Rica has begun test driving its first hydrogen fuel cell bus as the country moves towards using 100 per cent renewable energy.
As many motor manufacturers are developing electric cars, hydrogen is seen as even cleaner and benefits from using the most abundant resource in the universe.
The hydrogen is taken from water by passing electricity through it, often sourced from solar or wind generators. It is then mixed with atmospheric oxygen to generate an electric current which drives a motor.
Juan Ignacio Del Valle, a rocket engineer with Ad Astra, the company behind the project said a lot of work had gone into the technology.
“In this plant renewable energy from the solar panels and the wind turbine is turned into hydrogen gas inside the station,” he explained.
“The gas is then pumped into the bus, which is stored into tanks, and then whenever the bus needs to move, gas is turned back into electricity that drives the electric motors. The only by-product is pure water.”
The Costa Rican President Luis Solis unveiled the hydrogen bus project and is says he is optimistic.
“Today is an historic day in Costa Rica with the first bus to use hydrogen in its engine. This is an occasion when Costa Rica affirms its will to move towards zero carbon emissions.”
The electric bus project cost more than 3 million euros. First rides will be in Liberia next June.