The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus was revealed in Aberdeen showcasing the city. The arrival of the first of the zero emission buses underlines the city’s role as a trailblazer in hydrogen technologies and as the energy capital of Europe, and shows its commitment to the transition to green energy as part of the Net Zero Vision. First Aberdeen, part of the multinational company First Group, is to run the 15 buses mainly along one of its most popular service routes: the Service 19 (Peterculter to Tillydrone).
The buses are as efficient as electric equivalents, with refueling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range. Water is the only emission from the vehicles which reduces carbon emissions and helps contribute to the city’s commitment to tackling air pollution.
“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 Councilor Jenny Laing.
The buses have been manufactured by Wrightbus 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. “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,” commented Jo Bamford, Wrightbus owner and Executive Chairman.
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. The vehicles are also partially funded by the European Union’s JIVE project, which aims to aid commercialization of hydrogen buses through joint procurement between cities. Cities that will follow Aberdeen’s footsteps include London and Birmingham.
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “I warmly welcome the deployment of the very latest generation of zero emission hydrogen buses in the city – building on Aberdeen’s already-impressive record of achievements as a pioneer in the use of hydrogen transport solutions. Our funding contribution of £3 million towards this new fleet is evidence of our commitment to decarbonizing transport, as a key element of Scotland’s journey to net-zero carbon, with potential economic benefits for the North East and right across the remainder of Scotland.”
The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refueling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a £19 million green transport demonstration project, led by the City Council, which tested the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies.
Source: City of Aberdeen