Hydrogen buses arrive in Aberdeen
A milestone has been reached for the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project with the unveiling of the first vehicles of Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet. The city council has taken delivery of four of the ten Van Hool hydrogen buses, with the others due to be delivered in the coming weeks. The Aberdeen City Council-led bus project, which has backing from Europe, the UK Government and the Scottish Government, as well as a broad range of private sector partners, will deliver a hydrogen infrastructure in Aberdeen in 2014. The Project is testing the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen transport technologies and aims to drive the development of hydrogen technologies. The vehicles will be integrated into First and Stagecoach operations from May, following an official launch at the All-Energy conference on 21 and 22 May. They will be in use on routes across the city by autumn.
The arrival of the vehicles has been 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. Hydrogen for the vehicles will be produced from a 1MW electrolyser and a hydrogen refuelling station will be established. The latter will be the first of its kind in Scotland.
First Aberdeen Director and General Manager, Duncan Cameron, said, ‘This is an exciting, ground breaking project which we are delighted and proud to be a part of. 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.’
Stagecoach North Scotland MD, Steve Walker, said, ‘Stagecoach Bluebird is proud to be involved in the introduction of hydrogen buses in Aberdeen – vehicles that produce water vapour rather than other emissions. The project will help ensure a cleaner, greener environment for people living and working in the city. Sustainability is at the heart of Stagecoach’s operations and we provide greener, smarter bus travel for thousands of local people every single day.’
Van Hool’s Transit Bus Project Manager, Paul Jenné, said, ‘All the fuel cell buses operated by First and by Stagecoach have been built to particular specifications. They will be free of any tailpipe emissions, while both the interior and exterior noise level will be much improved, enhancing the passenger comfort level while riding the bus. Van Hool believes the buses are the next step to zero emission urban transport. We are looking forward to a successful project and the start of a long term cooperation.’