Aberdeen primed for world-first hydrogen double deckers

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The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses are expected to enter service in Aberdeen this summer, Aberdeen City Council has revealed.

Some 15 hydrogen buses have been produced by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland and operator First Aberdeen is to run the buses along two of its most popular service routes.

The hydrogen double deckers will arrive in the Scottish city in the spring for a period of final testing along with training for drivers.

The £8.3m project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish government, and the European Union’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking public private partnership, with an investment of about £500,000 per vehicle.

The buses, which emit only water, are reportedly as efficient as electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range.

All 15 hydrogen buses have been produced by a UK company Wrightbus based in Northern Ireland

David Phillips, operations director for First Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council to deliver these state-of-the-art and ground-breaking new buses to the people of Aberdeen.

“We are in the process of adapting our depot to accommodate these environmentally friendly zero-emission vehicles and are upskilling all our staff to accommodate this next generation of buses.

“It is a huge effort from all our staff to deliver this project, so we extremely proud to be a part of this project in helping the city to lead the way on the hydrogen journey.”

According to First, the vehicles will mainly operate on the Service 19 (Peterculter to Tillydrone) and the Service X27 (City Centre to Aberdeen International Airport via Dyce station) routes.

The service is being part funded by the European Union’s JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project, which aims to aid commercialisation of hydrogen buses through joint procurement between cities.

The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a £19m 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.

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