World-first hydrogen double decks on the way to Aberdeen for summer launch

The world’s first hydrogen-powered double-deck buses will be operating in Aberdeen this summer. First Aberdeen is to run the 15 buses along one of its most popular routes and the new vehicles are aimed at underlining the city’s role as a pioneer in hydrogen.

The Wrightbus hydrogen double-decks will arrive in the city in the spring for a period of final testing and training for drivers, ahead of the service launch in the summer.

The £8.3million project has been funded by Aberdeen city council, the Scottish Government, and the European Union, with an investment of about £500,000 per vehicle. 

The buses can be re-fuelled in less than 10 minutes and offer a greater range than electric buses with water vapour being the only emission. 

The UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station was opened in Aberdeen in 2015, as part of a £19million 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 is at the forefront of developing green technologies and our continued innovative commitment to hydrogen truly puts us on the global map,” says Aberdeen city council co-leader Jenny Laing. “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.”

David Phillips, operations director, First Aberdeen, adds: “We are in the process of adapting our depot to accommodate these environmentally-friendly zero-emission vehicles and are up-skilling all our staff to accommodate this next generation of buses. 

“It is a huge effort from all our staff to deliver this project, so we are extremely proud to be a part of this project in helping the city to lead the way on the hydrogen journey.”

The vehicles will be operated by First mainly on Service 19 (Peterculter to Tillydrone) and Service X27 (city centre to Aberdeen International Airport via Dyce station). 

John McLeister, Wrightbus director for sales and business development, says: “This is the start of an exciting chapter for Wrightbus in Aberdeen which will be the first city to introduce this large deployment of fuel cell zero emission vehicles.”