China is the largest polluter in the world at the moment, and they’re also reaping what they sew. But you can’t accuse the Chinese for not trying to right their ways – at least some of them; in an effort to mitigate the ridiculous amounts of smog that clouds some of China’s cities, scientists have developed the first hydrogen-powered tram.

Image: New China TV

With one gas tank, it can travel 100 km, with a top speed of 70 km/h, and can transport 380 passengers at a time. The vehicle has been in development for the past two years, and it reportedly came out of production last week, in the coastal city of Qingdao. What’s awesome about this tram is that its only emission is water. It’s also cheap to run, and a tank refill takes only 3 minutes.

“The average distance of tramcar lines in China is about 15 kilometres, which means one refill for our tram is enough for three round trips,” Liang Jianying, chief engineer of the Sifang Company, told the Xinhua news agency.

Personally, I think this is definitely a step in the right direction and I’d like to see more ideas like this, in more parts of the world – but China still has a long way to go before reaching normality. Recently, a documentary on Chinese pollution has taken the country by storm, being seen by hundreds of millions of people before being banned by the Chinese authorities. Meanwhile, smog is running rampant in the Beijing area, 20% of Chinese farmland is polluted and in many cities, air pollution can actually be seen from outer space. It’s a long way to go, and hydrogen trams aren’t going to do it alone – but it’s still something.


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