Aberdeen’s hydrogen bus fleet could be increased in size, after a successful first year of operation. The £21m Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has backing from Europe, the UK Government and the Scottish Government, as well as a broad range of private sector partners. Led by Aberdeen City Council, the scheme is testing the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies. Based on the success seen so far, the council is looking at options to increase the size of the fleet.
The project has seen a fleet of Van Hool hydrogen powered buses, described as Europe’s largest fuel cell bus fleet, rolled out in the city. It has also involved the creation of the UK’s first combined hydrogen production and bus refuelling station, along with a purpose built maintenance facility. In the first year, the fleet travelled 250,000 miles and have carried over 440,000 passengers on the First X40 Bridge of Don to Kingswells Park and Ride and Stagecoach X17 Guild Street to Westhill Park and Ride routes. The hydrogen production and refuelling station, which is owned and operated by BOC, a member of the Linde Group, has refuelled the vehicles more than 1,600 times. As well as government funding and money from other organisations, First and Stagecoach contributed £1m each to the project.