Wrightbus records hydrogen first in Scotland

A fleet of hydrogen-powered double decker buses manufactured by Wrightbus in Ballymena will enter service in Aberdeen within a matter of weeks, it has been revealed.

First Aberdeen, part of the multinational company First Group which originated in the city, will introduce the 15 buses along one of its most popular service routes in the Granite City.

After a period of final testing and driver-training, the fleet should be fully operational by the summer.

The new £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.

The buses have been manufactured by Wrightbus and each is as efficient as its electric equivalent. Refuelling takes less than 10 minutes and offering a greater range. Water is the only emission from the vehicles which reduces carbon emissions and the new buses continues to contribute to the city’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.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said, “Aberdeen is at the forefront of developing green technologies and our continued innovative commitment to hydrogen truly puts us on the global map.

“The new buses come with even better technology helping to tackle air pollution in the city and further makes Aberdeen an entrepreneurial and technological leader by pushing boundaries for hydrogen.

“We are really proud to be the world’s first city with hydrogen double-deckers and we look forward to seeing them on the city’s roads.”

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.