Russian tram operator Gorelektrotrans and the Central Research Institute of Electrical & Marine Technology have commenced trials of a hydrogen fuel cell power plant for operating trams in the city of St Petersburg. An existing tram from the city service has been retrofitted with a hydrogen fuel cell for propulsion.
The tram has been divided into three parts, one for the fuel cell, the second for storing hydrogen tanks and the third for trials and test technicians. Eight seats have been left as such.
Gorelektrotrans stated that using a hydrogen fuel cell would reduce their costs for energy from 5.5 roubles/ unit now to approximately 1.5 roubles/ unit thus helping them save money as well as contribute to the protection of environment. The tram would be restored to original service once the trials are completed. In the present form, the tram can operate at a maximum speed of 10 km/h.