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UNDP Supports Latin America’s First Water-Powered Bus

© UNDP6 July 2009: The UN Development Programme (UNDP), through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Brazilian Mines and Energy Ministry and the city of São Paulo's Urban Transportation Company, has introduced the first hydrogen-powered bus in São Paulo, one of the world's largest cities. The bus is fueled by water and exudes clean vapor instead of fumes.

The hydrogen-fueled bus technology is already available in four other countries: China, the Netherlands, Japan and the US. Due to the initial investments associated with the technology and the production of hydrogen, this pilot project will not seek to replace the entire fleet, but to assess the hydrogen production infrastructure and the effectiveness of such buses as public transport for large cities.

This first water-powered bus prototype was the result of four years of research and collaboration by a consortium of national and international partners, involving: Brazilian energy companies AES Eletropaulo and Petrobras; bus manufacturers Marcopolo and Tuttotrasporti; Ballard Power Systems and Hydrogenics from Canada; Epri International from the US; and Nucellsys from Germany. The consortium expects to make the technology available to other developing countries. [UNDP press release]