First will operate the vehicles – which are expected to arrive later this year – on route 19
Aberdeen is geared up to make history as one of the first cities in the world to introduce hydrogen-powered double-decker buses.
In this pioneering move, Aberdeen City Council, European Union (FCH JU) and the Scottish Government has invested around £500k per vehicle, after signing the contract to deliver 15 buses.
First will operate the new Wrightbus StreetDeck FCEV hydrogen vehicles on the number 19 route, funded partly by the European Union’s JIVE project, which seeks to aid the future commercialisation of buses.
The vehicles will launch in late 2019, with London and Birmingham following suit, and Dundee and Brighton & Hove being lead partners in JIVE2.
Councillor Philip Bell, Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, said: “Aberdeen appears to be pushing boundaries with an innovative approach when it comes to hydrogen; the entrepreneurial and technological leadership puts Aberdeen on the global map.
“Striving to tackle air pollution, these additional buses highlight Aberdeen City Council’s commitment and ambition as a ‘Centre for Excellence’ for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.”
David Phillips, Operations Director for First Aberdeen, said: “First Aberdeen is delighted to be the first bus company to operate these unique new Wrightbus hydrogen-powered double-decker buses for the city of Aberdeen.
“It is a pleasure to continue our partnership with Aberdeen City Council on this innovative project and we applaud the council in its continued support of the hydrogen bus technology.
“We very much look forward to operating these new vehicles for the people of Aberdeen.”
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The Scottish Government has supported a number of major projects which demonstrate the use of hydrogen.
“The First Minister has announced our commitment to undertake a detailed assessment on hydrogen and its potential to contribute to achieving our net-zero 2045 target.
“Our track record of early actions to fund hydrogen initiatives has created a favourable opinion of Scotland in the UK and abroad as an innovation leader in this area.
“We were delighted to contribute to the funding which has made this exciting next phase of Aberdeen’s hydrogen journey possible. This important investment will help the city achieve its decarbonisation ambitions and further cement its reputation for innovation and technology.”
David Barnett, Business Development Director for Wrightbus, said: “Wrightbus is delighted to have worked with Aberdeen City Council and First Aberdeen on this exciting project.
“The fuel cell electric bus range demonstrates yet again Wrightbus’ technical excellence and leadership. The vehicle offers pioneering cities, like Aberdeen, the opportunity to replace diesel buses with zero-emission buses on a one-to-one basis.”