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Birmingham gets its first double-decker hydrogen bus

Twenty Wrightbus hydrogen double-decker buses have been ordered by Birmingham City Council as part of its Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot. The buses will be added to the National Express West Midlands fleet and will operate from April 2021.

The city already has 29 battery-electric double-decker buses in circulation and this order represents the council’s latest move to drive down emissions.

Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffer, said, “Fuel cell buses offer a practical solution for cities to decarbonise public transport and immediately improve air quality. This pilot is a significant step towards our net zero carbon target and will provide Birmingham with a leading role in informing debate on supportive policies for zero emission public transport at a local and national level.”

The announcement is the latest deployment of the Wrightbus hydrogen bus, following orders for Aberdeen and London. The order has been funded through OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles), GBSLEP (Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership), Birmingham City Council and JIVE project funding from the FCH JU (European Funding from the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking).

Owner and chairman of Wrightbus, Jo Bamford, said, “We’re incredibly proud that these buses hold the title of being the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double-deckers. We have an opportunity with hydrogen-powered transport to make a huge difference to air quality. This fleet represents the start of what could be a world-leading UK hydrogen economy.”