Smart Transport

Aberdeen launches world's first hydrogen double-decker bus fleet

Aberdeen's first hydrogen double-decker bus

The world’s first fleet of hydrogen-powered double decker buses will arrive in Aberdeen in November as part of the city's net zero strategy.

The 15 hydrogen double deckers will be run by First Aberdeen and will be spotted around the city for several weeks during a period of final testing, along with training for drivers.

The £8.3 million 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.

Transport for London (TfL) was expected to claim the "world first" with its own fleet of 20 hydrogen double deckers which are due to arrive in 2021, but the introduction of Aberdeen's fleet from the same manufacturer, Bamford Bus Company, has progressed more quickly, so it can now claim the title.

Aberdeen City Council said the hydrogen buses are as efficient as electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range.

Water is the only emission from the vehicles which reduces carbon emissions and therefore contributes to Aberdeen's commitment to tackling air pollution.

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

Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council co-leader councillor, said: "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.”

The buses from Bamford  complement Aberdeen's existing fleet, including a range of hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers, and cars through a car share scheme.

Jo Bamford, Bamford Bus owner, 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.

“We hope that more councils across the UK follow Aberdeen City Council’s lead.”

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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