England’s first hydrogen double decker buses have been introduced in London.
On 23 June, the 20 hydrogen fuel cell double decker buses were launched, marking a significant step towards making all of London’s buses zero emission by 2030 and improving the capital’s air quality. They will join over 500 electric buses already in operation in the core fleet and are expected to provide smoother, quieter journeys due to fewer vibrations. Passengers on board will also be able to make the most of free-to-use USB charging points.
Transport for London (TfL) has provided £6mn in funding, along with over £5mn from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), and £1mn from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles.
The investment has supported jobs across the UK, with the buses manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, gas cylinders produced by Luxfer in Nottingham and hydrogen produced at Air Liquide’s plant in Runcorn, which harnesses waste hydrogen as a by-product from an industrial chlor-alkali plant. From 2023, the hydrogen will be produced by electrolysis from a direct connection to an offshore windfarm.
Ryze Hydrogen, based on Oxfordshire, has been tasked with transporting the hydrogen to the fuelling station. The station itself, meanwhile, was completed by Danish firm, Nel Hydrogen, and can top up each bus, once per day, in just five minutes.