Wrightbus will supply four StreetDeck Hydroliner hydrogen fuel cell-electric double-deckers to the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk in a pilot that could ultimately lead to a 150-strong hydrogen bus fleet transporting construction staff at the site.
The four seed buses are expected to be delivered in early 2024. Operational performance will be evaluated to gauge the StreetDeck Hydroliner’s suitability for staff transport. Should the Sizewell hydrogen bus fleet increase to the suggested 150, it would represent one of the largest concentrations of such vehicles globally.
As well as using hydrogen for transport, Sizewell C is helping to open the door to hydrogen-powered equipment being used on large construction sites. The project is part of a consortium led by sister Wrightbus company Ryze Hydrogen, which is also owned by Jo Bamford. It has recently been awarded funding of £3 million to test a mobile hydrogen refuelling system.
Sizewell C Joint Managing Director Julia Pyke says that plans for hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses “show that we are determined that the construction of the power station will… be as clean as possible.” She adds that the work “will potentially kickstart a market for this important low-carbon fuel in the East of England.”
Wrightbus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has welcomed the initial order. “We are delighted to be working with Sizewell C on this pilot. The fact that it could lead to a fleet of up to 150 hydrogen buses is testament to the potential that hydrogen has for both passenger transport and construction sites.
“We will continue to invest in hydrogen technology as a driver to developing cleaner, more efficient transport solutions.”