Aberdeen hydrogen fleet’s public unveiling
Part of Aberdeen’s fleet of ten Van Hool hydrogen buses were unveiled to the public during the recent All-Energy Exhibition and Conference in the city. The vehicles are described as Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen buses. The £20m Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has been co-funded by Scottish, UK and European partners: the UK’s innovation agency, Technology Strategy Board (£2.4m); Scottish Government (£1.7m); Scottish Enterprise (£1.7m); European Union Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) through the High V.LO-City and HyTransit projects (£8.3m). The vehicles will be operated by First Aberdeen and Stagecoach on routes across the city by the end of the year. The arrival of the buses was planned in advance of the hydrogen production and re-fuelling facility completion to ensure driver training, technician training and other operational planning can be completed prior to passenger operations commencing. The vehicles will be refuelled at Scotland’s first large hydrogen refuelling station, at the council’s Kittybrewster depot. Further refuelling stations are proposed across the city as the project evolves.
Stagecoach North Scotland MD, Steve Walker, said, ‘Sustainability is at the heart of our business and we are proud to be involved in the introduction of hydrogen buses in Aberdeen which will help to further reduce the impact of our operations on the environment. The project will help ensure a cleaner, greener environment for people living and working in the city. We already provide greener, smarter bus travel for thousands of local people every single day and we look forward to attracting even more people out of their cars and on to public transport in the future.’
First Aberdeen MD, Duncan Cameron, said, ‘This is an exciting, ground-breaking project which we are delighted and proud to be a part of. The buses look first class and our testing is progressing well. We’re looking forward to welcoming customers on board. Over the last 18 months we’ve improved our services and as a result we are now attracting 1,000 more customers a day and helping to ease the city’s congestion problems. The introduction of hydrogen vehicles complements our passenger growth strategy and I’m very confident will attract new users to bus travel.’
Van Hool CEO, Filip Van Hool, said, ‘Our company is proud to be associated with the Aberdeen H2 project. Van Hool believes the buses are the next step to zero emission urban transport, making use of renewable wind power in the on-site production of green hydrogen. We are looking forward to a successful project and the start of a long-term cooperation.’