World first hydrogen double decker bus arrives in Aberdeen

The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus has arrived Aberdeen, ahead of 15 of them going into service next month.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered zero emission double decker bus has arrived Aberdeen, ahead of 15 of them going into service next month.

The hydrogen double deckers, manufactured by Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus, will be on the road around the city for several weeks during a period of final testing along with training for drivers.

The buses are as efficient as their electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range. Water is the only emission from the vehicles.

First Aberdeen, part of First Group, which originated in the city, will mainly run the 15 buses along one of its most popular service routes, 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 £8.3 million project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government and the European Union, with an investment of about £500,000 per vehicle.

The buses complement the existing fleet in the city, which includes a range of hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers, and cars through a car share scheme.

Aberdeen City Council co-leader councillor Jenny Laing said: “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.”

Jo Bamford, Wrightbus owner and executive chairman, said: “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.”

David Phillips, operations director for First Aberdeen, said: “We look forward to rolling them out to the people of Aberdeen later this month and it is exciting to play a part in the latest leg of the city’s hydrogen journey. First Aberdeen are committed to working with local stakeholders to accelerate our driver for a zero emission fleet across our entire network by 2035 and we are excited to see the impact these buses will have.”

Picture (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.

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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