Aberdeen’s hydrogen busesEthical Transport News & Features
The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus was revealed today (07 Oct) in Aberdeen.
The arrival of the first of the zero-emission buses underlines the city’s commitment to transitioning to green energy from oil and gas as part of the Net Zero Vision.
The hydrogen double deckers will be spotted around the city for several weeks during a period of final testing along with training for drivers, with the buses expected to be in service next month.
As efficient as EVS
The buses are as efficient as electric equivalents: they have a greater range and refuelling takes less than 10 minutes. Water is the only emission from the vehicles, meaning the buses are helping to tackle air pollution in the city.
The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a £19m green transport demonstration project.
The Aberdeen City Council-led project tested the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies and aims to drive the development of hydrogen technologies.
‘It is fantastic to see the world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus arrive in Aberdeen and they further show our commitment to achieving net zero.
‘By leveraging our unique assets and capabilities, we will help lead the world on the rapid shift to a net zero future and support the global energy transition as a climate positive city.
‘We are responding, as a city and place, to the environmental imperative and also our role as a world leader in the energy sector as an economic driver for the city, region, Scotland and the UK.’
COUNCILLOR DOUGLAS LUMSDEN
Aberdeen City Council co-leader
A hydrogen economy
The buses have been manufactured by a UK-based company – Wrightbus, based in Northern Ireland – and will complement the city’s existing fleet, which already boasts a range of hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers and cars through a car share scheme.
First Aberdeen, part of the multinational company First Group which originated in the city, is to run the 15 buses along one of its most popular service routes (Service 19, Peterculter to Tillydrone).
‘We’re immensely proud to be putting the world’s first fleet of hydrogen double deckers onto the streets of Aberdeen.
‘And these buses represent much more than Aberdeen striving to reach a clean air, zero-carbon future. They represent the start of what could be a world-leading hydrogen economy here in Scotland which will bring with it multi-million pound investments and tens of thousands of jobs.
‘Not only do our buses hold the title of being the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double deckers, they emit only water vapour.
‘We hope that more councils across the UK follow Aberdeen City Council’s lead.’
Wrightbus owner and executive chairman
Cities that will follow Aberdeen’s footsteps include London and Birmingham, with Dundee and Brighton and Hove lead partners in JIVE2, an EU project that aids commercialisation of hydrogen buses through joint procurement between cities.
The new £8.3m project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government and the European Union (FCH JU), with an investment of about £500,000 per vehicle.