World’s first hydrogen double deckers arrive in Aberdeen

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The world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker bus has been revealed in Aberdeen, a move that demonstrates the city’s commitment to tackling air pollution and implementation of its Net Zero Vision.

Hydrogen double deckers will now be driven around the city for several weeks during a period of final testing along with training for drivers.

The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station 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.

Growing a green gas giant: innovations in hydrogen production

In a statement, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “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.”

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

“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.”

The buses have been manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland and are expected to complement the city’s existing fleet that includes hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers, and cars through a car share scheme.

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.”

World's first hydrogen powered double decker bus (Image: Wrightbus/ACC)

First Aberdeen is to run the 15 buses along one of its most popular service routes, with the vehicles expected to be in service in November, 2020.

The hydrogen double deckers have been 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. Cities that will follow Aberdeen’s footsteps include London and Birmingham, with Dundee and Brighton and Hove being lead partners in JIVE2.

The new £8.3m project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government, and the European Union (FCH JU), with an investment of about £500,000 per vehicle.