This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
you travel by bus in Sao Paulo, Brazil these days your vehicle may be powered
by hydrogen fuel cells. The city's urban transportation system recently
launched the first of up to five hydrogen buses. The hydrogen reacts with oxygen to produce
electricity and water.
The bus uses a hybrid system that combines the hydrogen
fuel cells with high power batteries. It
can be driven three hundred kilometers on the hydrogen cell and an additional
fifty kilometers on its batteries.
bus carries passengers in communities around Sao Paulo. The United Nations Development Program, the
World Bank and other private, public and international groups supported the
official Carlos Zundt says the bus is the first of its kind in Latin
America. Mister Zundt says the vehicle releases
only water vapor and is "totally clean." Traditional buses that run on diesel fuel
release harmful carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Most buses around the world run on diesel
fuel. Mister Zundt says diesel vehicles
are the main cause of air pollution in Sao Paulo.
The cost of the bus has not been announced. Hydrogen fuel cell buses cost more than
traditional buses. But Mister Zundt says
reducing air pollution and acid rain will reduce respiratory illnesses for
people in the city. In addition, the new bus is very quiet and does not produce
noise pollution. Mister Zundt says a
hydrogen bus will last an average of twenty years, while a diesel bus can be
used for five to eight years.
Sao Paulo has almost twenty million
people. Almost half of them ride buses
every day. Brazil has a large, modern
and competitive bus industry. It is one
of the top producers in the world. The project hopes to export hydrogen fuel
cell buses in the future.
A Brazilian report says that Brazil is one of five
countries that have developed such buses. The others are the United States, China, Germany and Japan.
not everyone sees the hydrogen fuel cell bus as the hope of the future. Critics
note the high cost of producing hydrogen. And they say other kinds of energy choices can provide power for buses.
that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. Transcripts
and podcasts of our reports are at voaspecialenglish.com.