The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus was revealed yesterday in Aberdeen and is expected to start operating next month.
Courtesy of Aberdeen City Council
The bus is one of several vehicles that will be visible around the streets of the city for a period of several weeks as they undergo final testing and driver training. The deployment of the buses reflects Aberdeen’s aim to be seen as the energy capital of Europe and to demonstrate its commitment to the transition of green energy from oil and gas as part of the Net Zero Vision.
The buses are as efficient as electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range. Water is the only emission from the vehicles which reduces carbon emissions and the new buses continues to contribute to the city’s commitment to tackling air pollution.
The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a £19million 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.
“We are very proud to bring the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker buses to Aberdeen as it shows the city continues to be at the forefront of developing green technologies” said Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing. “The roll out of the new double-decker buses will help to cement Aberdeen’s position as an entrepreneurial and technological leader as the new buses come with even more advanced technology which pushes established hydrogen boundaries and greatly assists us in tackling air pollution in the city. We look forward to seeing the new hydrogen double-deckers being tested around the streets of Aberdeen over the next few weeks before they come into service.”
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden added that the world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus shows the city’s commitment to achieving net zero and that by leveraging its unique assets and capabilities, Aberdeen 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.
The buses have been manufactured by a UK-based company – Wrightbus based in Northern Ireland - and will complement the existing fleet that the city already boasts including 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 and the new vehicles will further underline the city’s role as a pioneer in hydrogen.
The vehicles will be operated by First will be mainly on the Service 19 (Peterculter to Tillydrone) along with other services and is part funded by the European Union’s JIVE project, which aims to aid commercialisation of hydrogen buses through joint procurement between cities. Cities that will follow Aberdeen’s footsteps include London and Birmingham, with Dundee and Brighton and Hove being lead partners in JIVE2.
The new £8.3million 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.
Image: L to R – ACC Co-Leader Cllr Douglas Lumsden, ACC Co-Leader Cllr Jenny Laing, Wrightbus owner and Executive Chairman Jo Bamford, and Operations Director for First Aberdeen David Phillips.