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October 9, 2020

Wrightbus launches Scotland hydrogen double-decker bus

Wrightbus has launched its hydrogen-powered double decker bus in the the Scottish city of Aberdeen.

By Rhodri Morgan

Wrightbus has launched its hydrogen-powered double decker bus in the the Scottish city of Aberdeen.

The hydrogen double deckers will be in Aberdeen for several weeks during a period of final testing along with training for drivers, with the buses expected to be in service next month.

Refuelling takes less than ten minutes, while water is the only emission from the vehicles.

The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a GBP19m (US$25m) green transport demonstration project. The Aberdeen City Council-led project tested the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport 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, 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 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.”

The buses have been manufactured by Wrightbus, based in Northern Ireland and will complement the existing fleet in the city, including a range of hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers and cars through a share scheme.

“We’re immensely proud to be putting the world’s first fleet of hydrogen double deckers onto the streets of Aberdeen,” said Wrightbus owner and executive chairman, Jo Bamford. “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 more councils across the UK follow Aberdeen City Council’s lead.”

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.

The vehicles 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 which will follow Aberdeen’s footsteps include London and Birmingham, with Dundee and Brighton and Hove being lead partners in JIVE2.

The new GBP8.3m project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government, and the European Union, with an investment of around GBP500,000 per vehicle.

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