Aberdeen Launches World's First Hydrogen Double Decker Buses


February 1, 2021

Aberdeen has become the first city in the world to introduce hydrogen-powered double decker buses. The initiative for this sustainable mobility project was launched by the Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government and the EU. As such, the buses are partially funded by the EU's JIVE project, a €32m EU-funded programme, which is deploying 139 zero emission buses and refuelling stations across five countries. Next to Aberdeen, Liverpool, Birmingham and London will also add hydrogen buses to UK fleets as part of JIVE. The investment is around £500,000 per vehicle.

L-R Coucillor Douglas Lumsden, Councillor Jenny Laing, Jo Bamford, Wrightbus owner and Executive Chairman, David Phillips, Operations Director for First Aberdeen.

Aberdeen is excited to make next phase of hydrogen journey possible

According to Councillor Philip Bell, Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, the launch of the world's first hydrogen-powered double decker buses has shown how Aberdeen is leading the way with the hydrogen-powered buses and sustainable mobility within cities. “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.”

The engineering behind the hydrogen-powered double-decker buses 

The buses have been manufactured by by Wrightbus and were modified and converted with the help of Luxfer Gas Cylinders, whose multi-cylinder system stores low-pressure hydrogen at the rear of the bus. The buses feature a fuel cell onboard which is powered by hydrogen and produces electricity to power the electric motor of the bus. 

“Luxfer has pioneered hydrogen storage systems and valve technology, and we were brought into this project by Wrightbus in 2017 to help design how the hydrogen system could work to deliver the best range, in a cost effective solution,” said Mark Lawday, director at Luxfer Gas Cylinders. He further added "Aberdeen has been at the forefront of hydrogen, proving it is viable, and we worked with them on introducing an original fleet of 10 hydrogen buses to the city too. It’s fantastic that these new double deckers will begin their journeys with passengers soon.”

According to Writebus chairman Jo Bamford: "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, and we’re delighted to be working with Luxfer Gas Cylinders towards achieving this. 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.”