Aberdeen rolls out world’s first hydrogen double decker

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The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus has taken to the streets of Aberdeen, part of an EU project to roll out hydrogen mobility across five countries.

L-R Coucillor Douglas Lumsden, Councillor Jenny Laing, Jo Bamford, Wrightbus owner and Executive Chairman, David Phillips, Operations Director for First Aberdeen.

Manufactured by Wrightbus, the zero-emission double decker was modified with the help of Luxfer Gas Cylinders, whose multi-cylinder system stores low-pressure hydrogen at the rear of the bus. The hydrogen feeds an onboard fuel cell which in turn charges a battery pack beneath the vehicle floor, which then powers a compact electric motor to drive the bus. The vehicle is one of a 15-strong fleet that Luxfer has converted for Wrightbus.

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“Luxfer has pioneered hydrogen storage systems and valve technology, and we were brought into this project by Wrightbus in 2017 to help design how the hydrogen system could work to deliver the best range, in a cost effective solution,” said Mark Lawday, director at Luxfer Gas Cylinders.

“Aberdeen has been at the forefront of hydrogen, proving it is viable, and we worked with them on introducing an original fleet of 10 hydrogen buses to the city too. It’s fantastic that these new double deckers will begin their journeys with passengers soon.”

The project is part of the €32m EU-funded JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) programme, which is deploying 139 zero emission buses and refuelling stations across five countries. Liverpool, Birmingham and London will join Aberdeen in adding hydrogen buses to UK fleets as part of JIVE.

"Hydrogen has an important part to play in the decarbonisation of transport and the reduction in CO2 levels that we need to reach to ensure a net zero future, and we're delighted to be working with Luxfer Gas Cylinders towards achieving this,” said Wrightbus chairman, Jo Bamford.

“Everyone at Wrightbus is incredibly proud to see the world’s-first hydrogen double decker bus fleet in full service and carrying passengers around the streets of Aberdeen. It marks a pivotal moment in the city’s commitment to reaching net zero.

“We will see further Wrightbus hydrogen buses in locations across the UK, with fleets due to launch in Birmingham and London later this year.”