Long positioned as China’s Motor City, Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, has set up a fund to invest in the industry for the hydrogen energy automobiles of the future.
On Wednesday, the city government signed a deal with two top Chinese universities — Tongji and China University of Geosciences — to jointly set up a fund worth 200 million yuan (30 million U.S. dollars) in efforts to initiate the industry.
Wuhan is China’s major auto production base, home to the Shanghai General Motors resposible for the Buick Excelle, the Dongfeng Renault plant, PSA, Honda and dozens of auto part-makers. The auto industry now supplies 20 percent of the city’s industrial output and employs more than 1 million residents.
The government hopes the fund can obtain 10 billion yuan from the provincial fund for regional economic belt development, for clean energy auto development.
According to the deal, the government will encourage domestic auto makers to establish independent hydrogen vehicle brands.
This year trial production of prototype hydrogen-powered buses and logistic vehicles is expected.
Hydrogen fuel cells are a clean energy source used in the automobile industry. In 2015, China became the first country to utilize hydrogen-powered tram technology, with China South Rail’s hydrogen-powered tram.