StreetDeck FCEV debuts in Aberdeen: The start of the ‘hydrogen economy’?

The first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell-electric double-decker bus has arrived in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen City Council (ACC) says the delivery, part of an £8.3m project funded by ACC, the Scottish Government and the European Union Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE) project, underlines the city’s role as the ‘energy capital of Europe’ and its commitment to the transition of green energy in a net zero vision.

Hydrogen offers greater range and faster refuelling while maintaining the efficiency of battery-electric equivalents, the council says. First Aberdeen is to run the bus on its most popular service routes.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, Counciller Jenny Laing, says: “We are very proud to bring the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker buses to Aberdeen as it shows the city continues to be at the forefront of developing green technologies.

“The roll out of the new double-decker buses will help to cement Aberdeen’s position as an entrepreneurial and technological leader as the new buses come with even more advanced technology which pushes established hydrogen boundaries and greatly assists us in tackling air pollution in the city.”

Wrightbus owner and Executive Chairman Jo Bamford says the Ballymena-based firm is immensely proud to put the world’s first fleet of hydrogen double-deckers into service in Aberdeen. He says: “These buses represent much more than Aberdeen striving to reach a clean air, zero-carbon future. They represent the start of what could be a world-leading hydrogen economy here in Scotland which will bring with it multi-million pound investments and tens of thousands of jobs.

“Not only do our buses hold the title of being the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double deckers, they emit only water vapour.

“We hope that more councils across the UK follow Aberdeen City Council’s lead.”

Operations Director for First Aberdeen David Phillips says the company is keen to operate the buses. “It is exciting to play a part in the latest leg of the city’s hydrogen journey. First Aberdeen are committed to working with local stakeholders to accelerate our driver for a zero-emission fleet across our entire network by 2035 and we are excited to see the impact these buses will have.”

Final testing of the 15 Wrightbus StreetDeck FCEVs will now take place across the city, including a period of driver training. The buses are expected to enter service in November.