‘Natural end’ for Aberdeen hydrogen bus trial

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Aberdeen’s fleet of 10 hydrogen buses has been taken off the road, the city’s Evening Express has reported, until the start of phase two of the scheme later this year. The Van Hool A330H buses were launched five years ago and operated jointly by First and Stagecoach on routes in and around the city as part of a demonstration project funded by the EU. The scheme also included the installation of the UK’s first hydrogen production and bus refuelling facility at Kittybrewster.

The first phase of Aberdeen’s EU-funded hydrogen bus trial has come to an end. DUNCAN COGHLAN

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson Philip Bell said the scheme was a success: “The hydrogen bus project is a crucial part of demonstrating energy transition, the net zero journey and bringing our CO2 emissions in the city down. The project was phenomenally successful and has given Aberdeen a mature platform seen by the world. First Bus will operate the new fleet of next generation 15 double-decker buses later this year. These will be the first hydrogen-fuelled double-decker buses in the world.”

A spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council said: “The project has exceeded its objectives and driven more miles in commercial operation than any other hydrogen fuel cell bus project to date in Europe. The first phase of the project has recently finished and the lease to operate the buses has ended. We are reviewing options to extend the operation of the hydrogen fuel cell buses with the operators. The vehicles are being maintained and are ready to be mobilised once the agreement is reached with a future operator. We are looking forward to working in partnership with First Aberdeen to deliver an exciting second phase of the project, which will see a world’s first in 15 zero-emission double-decker hydrogen buses, coming to the city later this year.”

David Phillips, First Aberdeen’s Operations Director, added: “The first phase of the Hydrogen Project has come to its natural end and we have taken learnings from that project forward into the next one.”