Shin Baekseung Travel Agency to Pave the Way for Hydrogen Bus Commercialization
The Shin Baekseung Travel Agency, known for its pioneering approach in adopting hydrogen buses, is now taking steps to construct a liquid hydrogen charging station.
Expanding Desperate Support
In its efforts to introduce hydrogen buses, Shin Baekseung Travel Agency has been receiving support from various ministries, including the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. However, as the agency aims for commercialization, it requires extended support.
CEO Park Soo-eung highlighted the challenges faced in operating hydrogen buses, such as the lack of charging infrastructure and a maintenance center. He emphasized the urgency of establishing a hydrogen vehicle maintenance center to ensure prompt repairs and reduce downtime.
Furthermore, Park mentioned that while the Ministry of Environment has allocated a support budget, the amount provided per company is insufficient. To address this, Shin Baekseung Travel Agency plans to invest 3.5 billion won in constructing a liquid hydrogen charging station and suggests loosening regulations on financial institutions to facilitate the process.
Aiming for 100% Hydrogen Buses
With a current fleet of 29 hydrogen buses, which includes 15 charter buses and 14 metropolitan buses, Shin Baekseung Travel Agency boasts the highest number of hydrogen buses in the country. The agency plans to add 10 charter buses, 6 metropolitan buses, and 9 low-floor buses this year, aiming to have over 150 hydrogen buses by 2025. Their ultimate goal is to achieve a 90% hydrogen bus operating rate and a complete transition to 100% hydrogen buses.
Building Charging Infrastructure: An Urgent Need
Time efficiency is crucial in the mobility-based transport industry. Currently, it takes around 30 minutes to charge one hydrogen bus, with additional time required for high-pressure tank pressurization. This waiting time can extend to over an hour. With only five charging stations available in Incheon, where Shin Baekseung Travel Agency operates, the need for more charging stations is evident. Additionally, the agency plans to introduce liquid hydrogen charging stations to support the increased demand.
Overcoming Gaseous Hydrogen Limitations
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency estimates that a bus requires around 20 kg of hydrogen per day. Low-floor buses cover approximately 150 to 180 km and consume 15 to 18 kg of hydrogen, while the solid-state type utilizes 22 to 23 kg to travel 400 km. As the agency plans to operate 54 hydrogen buses this year, the daily recharge amount will exceed 1 ton. While gaseous hydrogen transportation through tube trailers is limited to 200 kg, liquid hydrogen can be transported in quantities exceeding 2 tons. A liquid hydrogen charging station, capable of charging 240 kg per hour, can effectively handle the increased demand.
Introducing the Liquid Hydrogen Charging Station
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency intends to construct a liquid hydrogen charging station within its headquarters’ garage in Incheon. Unlike gaseous hydrogen charging stations, which take approximately 30 minutes to charge one bus, the liquid hydrogen station can charge a bus within 10 minutes. The cost of building the liquid hydrogen charging station amounts to around 10.5 billion won, with 7 billion won provided by the Ministry of Environment. Shin Baekseung Travel Agency is committing a substantial investment of 3.5 billion won to advance environmentally-friendly hydrogen bus conversion.
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency, which has led the way in converting to hydrogen buses, is starting to build a liquid hydrogen charging station.
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency begins commercialization of hydrogen buses
Expanding ‘desperate’ support
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency has been pushing ahead with the introduction of hydrogen buses. Currently, hydrogen bus purchase costs, fuel cell system renewal costs, and hydrogen fuel subsidies are supported by the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, but the situation is that extended support is necessary for commercialisation.
Park Soo-eung, CEO of Shin Baekseung Travel Agency, said, “There are still many difficulties in operating hydrogen buses. “The reason is the lack of charging infrastructure and no maintenance centre,” he said. “Once a hydrogen vehicle breaks down, we don’t know when it will return,” he said, emphasizing once again the need to introduce a hydrogen vehicle maintenance center.
Also, the mention of financial support was not left out. Representative Park said, “Although the Ministry of Environment has allocated a support budget, the amount of support per company is small and it is very difficult to actually use it. 3.5 billion won will be invested in building a liquid hydrogen charging station. “For this, a solution is needed, such as loosening regulations on financial institutions,” he said.
The aim is to ‘convert 100% to hydrogen buses’
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency currently operates 29 solid type hydrogen buses (15 charter buses and 14 metropolitan buses). Of the 290 buses owned by Shin Baekseung Travel Agency, 29 are hydrogen buses. This is the highest figure in the country. Within this year, 10 charter buses and 6 metropolitan buses will be added, and 9 low-floor buses will also be introduced. We intend to secure more than 150 hydrogen buses by 2025. It is not just about increasing the number of vehicles in operation. The aim is to maintain a 90% hydrogen bus operating rate and eventually convert to 100% hydrogen buses.
Selling is time
‘Urgent need’ to build charging infrastructure
Time is money. In the mobility-based transport industry, nothing is more important than time. Wasting time recharging hydrogen is a waste of time. Currently, it takes 30 minutes to charge one hydrogen bus. If you add the time needed to press the high pressure tank after charging is complete, the waiting time can extend to more than an hour. It is understood that there are five charging stations in Incheon that Shin Baekseung Travel Agency uses. In addition, as hydrogen charging stations are closed once a week, additional charging stations need to be introduced.
There are limitations to gaseous hydrogen charging stations.
The average amount of hydrogen needed to run a bus per day is 20 kg. Low floor buses travel 150 to 180 km per day and use 15 to 18 kg of hydrogen. The solid state type uses about 22 to 23 kg of hydrogen to drive 400 km. Shin Baekseung Travel Agency plans to operate 54 hydrogen buses within this year. If this happens, the amount of hydrogen recharged per day will exceed 1 ton. Although the transport volume of gaseous hydrogen through a tube trailer is 200 kg, more than 2 tons of liquid hydrogen can be transported at once. The liquid hydrogen charging station can charge 240 kg per hour, so it can handle the increased charging demand.
For the operation of hydrogen buses
Introducing a liquid hydrogen charging station
Shin Baekseung Travel Agency plans to build a liquid hydrogen charging station in the garage of its headquarters in Incheon. Although it takes around 30 minutes to charge one bus at a gaseous hydrogen charging station, it is possible to charge within 10 minutes using liquid hydrogen. The cost of building the liquid hydrogen charging station is around 10.5 billion won, with the Ministry of Environment providing 7 billion won. Shin Baekseung Travel Agency is investing a large sum of 3.5 billion won to challenge the ‘eco-friendly hydrogen bus conversion’.
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