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Hydrogen bus fleet launched in Aberdeen reaches million mile landmark

The 'world-first' hydrogen bus that made its debut in Aberdeen has passed a collective one million miles in service, according to its manufacturer Wrightbus.
The 'world-first' hydrogen bus that made its debut in Aberdeen has passed a collective one million miles in service, according to its manufacturer Wrightbus.

A “world first” type of hydrogen bus which made its debut in Aberdeen has clocked up one million miles since its launch last year, its manufacturer has claimed.

The Wrightbus Streetdeck Hydroliner made its debut in Aberdeen in 2021.

Operator First Bus unveiled the fleet of hydrogen-fuelled double deckers, with 15 vehicles costing £8.3million in council-secured grants from the EU and Scottish Government.

The milestone – the equivalent of driving around the world 40 times – means the company’s fleet of  hydrogen-powered buses has prevented 1,700 tonnes of  carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions entering the atmosphere compared to journeys made by an equivalent diesel bus.

The Hydroliner zero-emission double deck buses built by Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus

The reduction in emissions also has the same impact as taking almost 400 cars off the roads for a year.

In addition to the Aberdeen fleet, the company’s buses are currently in operation in London, Birmingham, Dublin and Belfast.

The Hydroliner bus emits water vapour from its tailpipe, with no harmful emissions.

Wrightbus will be displaying the first-ever Hydroliner to enter passenger service in Aberdeen next week at the ITT Hub show in Farnborough from May 11-12.

Broken down

The route the bus has taken has not been entirely straight forward, however – at least in Aberdeen.

The 15-strong fleet was recently returned to service after it suffered “mechanical problems”.

During routine checks in February an engineer found an issue with the mounting bracket at the rear of a Hydroliner.

The buses had to be pulled from service so the part could be upgraded and replaced by the manufacturer.

Big ‘bus’-iness

Northern Ireland’s Wrightbus was rescued from out of administration in 2019 by Jo Bamford, 44, heir to the JCB diggers empire.

The Ballymena-based vehicle builder grown from having just 56 staff at the time to now employing more than  900 people.

Jo Bamford, owner of Wrightbus

Bamford, whose father Lord Bamford is the billionaire chairman of JCB, said: “Hitting one million miles is an incredible landmark for our buses.

“To be talking about such figures and the impact on emissions they have made is incredibly powerful and seeing these numbers spelled out really puts our efforts into context.

“At Wrightbus we have been relentless in our commitment to zero emissions transport thanks to our constant innovations – but although these figures are impressive, we cannot let up.

“We will continue to press the case for more support for zero emissions transport, both in the UK and around the globe, to ensure vital net zero targets are not missed.”

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