Proud day for Wrightbus as first hydrogen double decker fleet enters service
The “world’s first” fleet of double decker hydrogen buses - produced in Ballymena by Wrightbus - officially launched into service today in Aberdeen.
Run by First Bus – One of Scotland’s largest bus operators – in a project led by Aberdeen City Council, the hydrogen buses represent a major step forward in reducing climate change, as cities across the world witness how far innovation in the transport industry has come.
Built by UK firm Wrightbus, the zero-emission fleet emits nothing more than water from its exhausts as the fuel is made from just wind and water. Furthermore, plans are in place for Aberdeen to make its own hydrogen to power the buses, making it an even greener energy source for the local community.
The start of the first of the zero emission buses on their service routes also underlines the city’s role as the energy capital of Europe and shows its commitment to the transition of green energy from oil and gas as part of the city’s Net Zero Vision.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “It’s great to see the world’s first hydrogen double decker buses starting on their service routes in Aberdeen.
“The buses are a fantastic asset to the city as an entrepreneurial and technological leader as they have even more advanced technology which pushes established hydrogen boundaries and also greatly assist us in tackling air pollution in the city.”
Wrightbus chairman, Jo Bamford, said it was a proud moment to see the buses in full operation for the first time.
He said: “Everyone at Wrightbus is incredibly proud to see the world’s-first hydrogen double decker bus fleet in full service and carrying passengers around the streets of Aberdeen. It marks a pivotal moment in the city’s commitment to reaching net zero.
“We will see further Wrightbus hydrogen buses in locations across the UK, with fleets due to launch in Birmingham and London later this year. It’s vital that other towns and cities sit up and take note of their example.
“Hydrogen has an important part to play in the decarbonisation of transport and the reduction in CO2 levels that we need to reach to ensure a net zero future.”
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Douglas Lumsden said: “It is fantastic to see the world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses being driven about and used by residents of Aberdeen.
“The buses show our commitment to achieving net zero and support the global energy transition as a climate positive city while cementing our position as a world leader in the energy sector as an economic driver for the city, region, Scotland and the UK.”
The new 60-seat double-deckers are set to transform the air of the granite city as they save one kilogram of CO2 with each kilometre they drive. The buses will also tackle more than just air pollution, as they are virtually silent when they run, helping to create quieter, calmer streets.
While prototype hydrogen buses have been designed and used previously, as the transport industry explores how it can make use of universe’s most abundant element, these double deckers are the first of their kind to go into operation and welcome customers on board.
* Wrightbus last week revealed it was creating more than 40 jobs at its Ballymena factory to keep up with demand for the vehicles.