After successfully launching a range of hydrogen trucks in Australia recently, HDrive is now set to launch a double decker bus option in late November.
Ever since BLK Auto launched the newly formed company HDrive earlier this year, it’s been looking for an opportunity to showcase its vehicles in Australia.
In late October, HDrive continued to surge into the hydrogen heavy vehicle market after agreeing to a five-year supply deal with Pure Hydrogen and Wisdom Motors for up to 12,000 trucks over five years. Now, BLK Auto and HDrive are turning to procuring hydrogen buses in Australia.
“It’s very exciting for Wisdom Motors to give us the opportunity to bring this bus down to Australia and show it to the industry,” Pecotic told ABC. “Wisdom has loaned the bus to us for one month from Hong Kong to show bus operators and government officials how a hydrogen bus works in person.”
On November 29, HDrive will launch its hydrogen double decker city bus in Australia. From 11AM to 3PM, the hydrogen double decker will be presented to the industry at Shellharbour Regional Airport in Illawarra, New South Wales.
Following the presentation, as well as the engineering and operations overviews, the industry will get the chance to test drive the hydrogen vehicle within the airport grounds.
It’s been fast moving for HDrive. The first HDrive bus was displayed at the recent Bus & Coach Expo on BLK Auto’s stand in its green leaf livery. Just weeks after, HDrive announced it was moving its hydrogen trucks into production with Pepsico before entering its supply agreement with Pure Hydrogen and Wisdom Motors.
Now, its Australian launch of its new double decker hydrogen vehicle will give the company a valuable chance to align this new technology with operators, energy providers, universities and technology stakeholders.
“We want to show that the technology is real,” Pecotic says. “We want to show that it’s here and that it has its place within transport and logistics centres, not only in the Illawarra but throughout Australia.
“We are hoping to have attendances from local members and councils, and have also invited energy and transport ministers to be part of this initiative.”
The hydrogen fuel cell city bus was originally delivered to a Hong Kong operator. After having it for a month, the operator let HDrive borrow the bus and quickly detour down to the Illawarra to show the Australian industry the future of hydrogen buses and coaches.
Pecotic says the hydrogen city bus just arrived from Hong Kong at NSW’s Port Kembla. He says having the bus in person for operators and politicians to touch and see will be a massive opportunity for BLK Auto and HDrive.
“The industry attending the day will get to see the advantages of hydrogen fuel cell technology in buses,” Pecotic says. “The bus is tried and tested in Hong Kong. Here in Australia, we’re giving the industry a chance to see the bus in action.”
The HDrive double decker hydrogen city bus is the first of its type within Hong Kong. It was delivered by Wisdom Motors to be trialled as part of Hong Kong’s strategy to expand its zero-emissions footprint within the area without placing more of a strain on the current electrical grid.
Pecotic says the transferring of the bus down to Port Kembla is the perfect opportunity for HDrive to align its own local discussions with operators at the launch and test drive day.
With some in the industry asking if hydrogen city bus technology is real, HDrive’s in-person event will prove the vehicle is currently in operation and can be seen in person as a viable transport option.
Pecotic says HDrive is a newly formed company currently having the largest offerings in Australia for zero-emissions vehicles. After pairing with Wisdom Motors in China, HDrive will continue working with shareholders Ballard and Temple Water to produce more hydrogen vehicles.
Pecotic says he recently travelled to Singapore and saw how the hydrogen bus industry is excelling in the region. With the world’s largest and most trusted fuel cell manufacturer in Wisdom Motors backing the HDrive project, Pecotic says the new company will continue working with its shareholders to provide quality vehicles for international operators and partnerships.
“To see the speed that the industry in Singapore is moving towards hydrogen vehicles was incredible,” Pecotic says. “Looking forward, we’ll continue to support the growing demand for hydrogen vehicles and supply it to Australia.”