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Hydrogen bus fleet in Aberdeen clocks up its first 100,000 miles


Owing to its proximity to the oil fields of the North Sea, Aberdeen has long been dubbed the ‘oil capital of Europe’, but it now looks set to earn itself a new moniker – as the ‘hydrogen hub of Scotland’.

Bus operator First Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council, both long-standing Logistics UK members, celebrated passing a significant milestone this week. First Aberdeen’s fleet of 15 hydrogen double-decker buses has notched up an impressive 100,000 miles of operation.

MILES FEWER EMISSIONS

Since launching into service across the city in January, the fleet of First Aberdeen buses, manufactured in the UK by Wrightbus, has already saved an estimated 170,000kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 42 cars off the road for a year – marking a significant step forward in helping reduce the city’s transport emissions.

A SMOOTH AND SILENT RIDE

Michelle Thomson, hydrogen bus driver at First Aberdeen (pictured above), said: "Drivers and the public absolutely love the new hydrogen buses – sailing smoothly and silently through the city's streets is an absolute joy. We get people hopping on just for a ride, to enjoy the experience.

“It’s been especially lovely during lockdown, too, as the buses are so quiet that socially distancing passengers wearing masks can still have a natter from either end of the bus. As drivers, it makes us much more in tune with what’s going on on board, so we’re able to deliver the best in customer service.

“It’s lovely driving through countryside routes as well, knowing that we’re not disturbing the peace – we can glide through, hardly noticed. But most of all it’s great knowing that we’re doing our bit to help protect the planet – that’s really important to us all."

HYDROGEN IN, WATER VAPOUR OUT

The exhausts of this world-first zero-emission fleet emit nothing more than water vapour and the hydrogen fuel is made from just electricity from wind power and water. Aberdeen makes its own hydrogen to power the buses, making it an even greener energy source for the local community.

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader, Councillor Douglas Lumsden, said: “Transforming the city's carbon footprint on a large scale is no easy feat, but we're committed to making continuous progress and are proud to be leading the way in the transport industry with First Aberdeen to bring our joint vision of low emission public transport to life.”

PUTTING ABERDEEN ON THE ZERO EMISSIONS MAP

Ian Gillott, Wrightbus Group Director, said: “To reach 100,000 miles is a significant milestone. It is a credit to Aberdeen City Council and to First Bus that they have embraced this new technology so readily, putting Aberdeen firmly and historically on the zero emissions map.”

To support the fleet’s deployment, Wrightbus installed a support team of hydrogen specialists on the ground in Aberdeen as well as an escalation team and a technical back-up team on 24-hour call.

Michelle Gardner, Head of Public Policy, Logistics UK, said: “We congratulate Aberdeen City Council and First Aberdeen on passing this significant milestone. Decarbonising heavier vehicles will continue to be a challenge for some time, but this demonstrates the opportunities and benefits new technologies present for transport operations.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/campaigns/environment

Published On: 29/04/2021 17:00:43

 



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