TfL orders 20 hydrogen ‘deckers from Wrightbus

Into service during 2020 on routes 7/N7 and 245 as hint is dropped that hydrogen has strong future

Transport for London has ordered 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-powered double-deckers from Wrightbus.

They will be introduced next year on routes 7/N7 and 245, operated by Metroline, as part of a £12m investment that includes the buses and the fuelling infrastructure.

Of that money, more than £5m is being provided by European bodies the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, an executive agency of the European Commission. £1m will come from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

TfL says that the fuel cell double-deckers will require refuelling once per day for five minutes, and that they will deliver a longer range than equivalent battery electric buses.

The capital’s bus fleet currently includes 165 zero emission vehicles. A further 68 battery-electric double-deckers, from BYD ADL and Optare, will arrive this year

Procurement of the fuel cell buses is part of the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project. JIVE aims to bring down the cost of vehicles by buying in bulk with other authorities, with an aspiration to put the price per bus on a par with those powered by the other cleanest energy sources. The 20 Wrightbus double-deckers will have USB charging points.

Says TfL Director of Bus Operations Claire Mann: “London has the cleanest bus fleet in Europe, but we know we need to go further and faster to tackle the public health emergency caused by dirty air. Innovating and using hydrogen means we have flexibility in matching the right fuel with the operational requirements of the network.”