Wrightbus secures multi-million pound hydrogen double decker bus order

Wrights Group has secured a multi-million pound order to supply 15 hydrogen-powered double decker buses for Aberdeen City Council
Gareth McKeown

BALLYMENA-based Wrights Group has secured a multi-million pound order to supply green energy double decker buses for Aberdeen City Council.

The Co Antrim manufacturer will deliver 15 hydrogen-powered buses as part of the deal, which will see Aberdeen become the first city in the world to introduce a hydrogen double decker fleet.

The deal complements the city's existing hydrogen vehicle portfolio, which already features the first fleet of 10 fuel cell buses in Europe, as well as a range of vans and cars.

The new double decker buses will be launched later this year and are more efficient than their electric equivalents, with refuelling taking less than 10 minutes. They also offer a greater range, while water is the only emission from the vehicles.

The contract, jointly funded by Aberdeen City Council, the European Union and the Scottish Government, represents an investment of around £500,000 per vehicle and collectively is believed to be worth an estimated £7.5m.

The vehicles will be operated by First Aberdeen on the 19 route in the city and the project is part funded by the EU's JIVE project, which aims to aid commercialisation of hydrogen buses through joint procurement between cities.

Cities that will follow Aberdeen's footsteps include; London and Birmingham, with Dundee and Brighton and Hove previously announced as lead partners in JIVE2.

David Barnett, business development director for Wrightbus, welcomed the firm's latest contract win.

“Wrightbus is delighted to have worked with Aberdeen City Council and First Aberdeen on this exciting project," he said.

"The fuel cell electric bus range demonstrates yet again Wrightbus' technical excellence and leadership. The vehicle offers pioneering cities, like Aberdeen, the opportunity to replace diesel buses with zero emission buses on a one-to-one basis.”

Scotland's energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, added:

"Our track record of early actions to fund hydrogen initiatives has created a favourable opinion of Scotland in the UK and abroad as an innovation leader in this area. We were delighted to contribute to the funding which has made this exciting next phase of Aberdeen's hydrogen journey possible. This important investment will help the city achieve its decarbonisation ambitions and further cement its reputation for innovation and technology.”

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