Aberdeen set for global public transport first

Aberdeen is set to become the first city in the world to introduce hydrogen-powered double decker buses.

The new additions to the hydrogen fleet will underline the city’s role as a pioneer in green energy.

The contract which was signed this month will deliver 15 city buses. The project has been funded by Aberdeen City Council, European Union (FCH JU) and Scottish Government with an investment of about £500k per vehicle, building on the initial research funding contributed by the Scottish Cities Alliance.

The vehicles will be operated by First on the 19 (Culter to Tillydrone) route 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 that will follow Aberdeen’s footsteps include London and Birmingham, with Dundee and Brighton and Hove being lead partners in JIVE2.

It is claimed the buses are more efficient than electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range. Water is the only emission from the vehicles, reducing carbon emissions and continues to contribute to the city’s commitment to tackling air pollution.

The buses have been produced by Wrightbus, based in Northern Ireland, and will complement the existing fleet that the city already boasts 10 buses as well as a range of vans and cars.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said, “We were delighted to contribute to the funding which has made this exciting next phase of Aberdeen’s hydrogen journey possible.

“This important investment will help the city achieve its decarbonisation ambitions and further cement its reputation for innovation and technology.”