Hydrogen-powered double-decker buses hit the streets in Scotland

The Scottish city of Aberdeen has launched a fleet of 15 hydrogen-powered double-decker buses.

Scotland’s third-largest city, Aberdeen is known as the Granite City or the Silver City, because of its many buildings made of locally-quarried granite. Since the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s, it has also been known as the offshore oil capital of Europe. The petroleum industry supports an estimated half-million jobs in the region.

The 60-seat buses were built by the Wrightbus company in Northern Ireland, and cost about £500,000 each. The £8.3-million project was funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government and the EU. Each vehicle cost about £500,000.

The new fuel cell buses, which will be operated by First Bus, will use an existing hydrogen production and refueling station that was opened in 2015. The buses take less than 10 minutes to refuel. Aberdeen’s municipal fleet already includes some hydrogen- and electric-powered council vans and road sweepers.

“At the moment Aberdeen produces 500 kilograms of green hydrogen every day,” Aberdeen City Council spokesman Philip Bell said last November. “Our plan is to have a hydrogen hub in three years that will produce three and a half tons of the gas a day.”

Scotland will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in November. “It is fantastic to know that we’ll be setting a stellar example of just what can be achieved with new technology as we welcome leaders from around the world,” said Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director at First Bus. “First Bus serves thousands of customers in Aberdeen and we know that so many of our customers take the bus because they care about our planet and reducing their carbon footprint.”

Source: City of Aberdeen, Tech Xplore