Canada-based Loop Energy, announced the order for the first eFlow-powered hydrogen fuel cell systems (previous post) under a commercial agreement with NGVI, a South Korean-based manufacturer of turn-key compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel systems for transit and coach bus applications.
The news symbolizes the acceleration of the eFlow fuel cell platform’s adoption in the transit bus market vertical, as well as Loop Energy’s official entry into South Korea’s zero-emission commercial vehicle industry.
The first hydrogen fuel cell system delivered under the deal will be used to build the first testing and homologation vehicles under the agreement inked between NGVI and Ulsan Metropolitan City for the delivery of hydrogen electric transit buses.
Ulsan is expected to invest 2.3 billion KRW (about US$2.0 million) in testing and certification of hydrogen bus technology offered by a consortium of partners, including NGVI, in the first phase of the multi-year deal by 2024. Ulsan announced in 2018 a proposal to replace 40% of the city’s 949 buses with hydrogen-powered vehicles and to build 60 hydrogen fuelling stations by 2030.
Following development and demonstration, the buses are scheduled to be added to the fleet used in Seoul, where Seoul Bus Company and TCHA Partners operate around 1,200 buses. According to the city, demand will increase as around 10% of Seoul buses are replaced or decommissioned each year. The number of buses owned by them is planned to exceed 2,000 by 2023, with demand in the metropolitan area exceeding 200 per year.
With Loop’s state-of-the-art technology and NGVI’s system integration expertise and customer network, we believe we can make hydrogen electric transit a reality in South Korea and beyond. Our fully integrated fuel cell system product line incorporates a lot of the input we collected from the customers, and the performance has been nothing short of outstanding. From the field data rolling in daily from previously announced municipal bus fleet in Nanjing, China, to new customer engagements in Eastern Europe and now in Korea, we are very pleased with the success we had in the transit bus market over the last few months.Ben Nyland, President and CEO of Loop Energy
Our major shareholders include some of Korea’s largest bus fleet operators. As a result, we have a unique level of appreciation for the impact vehicle’s cost of ownership has on how quickly South Korea’s bus transit with adopting hydrogen technology. We have chosen to partner with Loop Energy because their products combine performance and economics into one value proposition that gives fleet operators exactly what they want.David Jung, Chief Executive Officer of NGVI