The city of Aberdeen in Scotland, U.K., has received the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker bus that shows its commitment to the transition of green energy from oil and gas as part of the Net Zero Vision. The hydrogen buses will be trialed around the city for several weeks during a period of final testing and training for drivers. The buses are expected to be in service next month.
The project led by the Aberdeen City Council tested the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies and is aimed at driving the development of hydrogen technologies themselves. The buses were manufactured by Wrightbus, a company based in Northern Ireland, and will complement the existing fleet already active in the city, which includes a range of hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers, and cars with this technology.
The buses are as efficient as their electric equivalents, with refueling takes less than ten minutes and offering greater range. Water is the only exhaust emission, which thus reduces carbon dioxide emissions, and the new buses will contribute to the city’s commitment to combating air pollution.
The issue of hydrogen supply has long been resolved in Aberdeen, as the UK’s first hydrogen production and refueling station was opened there in 2015 as part of a £19 million green transport demonstration project.
First, Aberdeen, part of the multinational First Group, will operate the 15 buses along with one of its most popular service routes, and the new vehicles will further underline the city’s pioneering role in the hydrogen field. The new £8.3 million projects were funded by the Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government and the European Union (which aims to promote the commercialization of hydrogen buses through joint purchases between cities), with an investment of around £500,000 per vehicle.
David Phillips, Operations Director for First Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be operating these state-of-the-art double-decker hydrogen buses in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, and we are thrilled to share a sneak peek of them with the public today.
“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 is 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.”