Aberdeen Scotland will soon have the world’s largest fleet of hydrogen-powered buses. A fleet of double-decker hydrogen buses arrived in Aberdeen last week. Aberdeen is the centre for the British petroleum industry.
The 15 buses are made by Wrightbus Ltd., a Northern Irish firm . According to a company posting, Wrightbus hydrogen fuel cell technology encompasses hydrogen tanks and a battery pack to power both single deck and double deck vehicles. The combination of the battery pack and the hydrogen powered fuel cell makes the continuous operation of a fully zero emission double deck bus feasible.
Two key elements of the design are the lightweight hydrogen storage tanks, and the automatic battery management system which continuously monitors and balances the stored power whilst the vehicle is in service.
The company says the buses are reliable with no emissions, all Wrightbus hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will feature an electric drive axle packaged to allow a full flat floor throughout the bus, a zero emission heating system and the ability for overnight charging.
Britain has stated it wants to be at the forefront of the hydrogen industry, and the government says it will outline its strategy for the sector next year as well as present a plan to create a hydrogen transport hub. The fuel is seen as key to slashing harmful emissions in everything from industry to transport and heating homes.
Hydrogen is already making progress in public transport. Last week the first hydrogen-powered trains were trialled in Britain. They could be carrying passengers by 2022. Buses are ready today, and the cost of running them will come down, according to Bamford, who has been in the business for 15 years.
“We can fill it up at the same cost and it has the same running costs pretty much as a diesel bus but the capital cost is twice as expensive,” a company spokesperson said in an interview. “With a bit of volume we can get the cost down to the same.”