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Two hydrogen buses back on Aberdeen’s roads with more to follow in coming weeks

World-first hydrogen double decker buses will launch on passenger services in Aberdeen tomorrow.
The hydroliners were the first of their kind in the world and have saved more than 1,500 tonnes of C02. Supplied by Aberdeen Council.

Aberdeen’s fleet of hydrogen-powered buses will gradually return – more than two months since they were pulled from service.

The double-decker fleet was removed from the roads earlier this year due to a “mechanical problem”.

First Bus has now confirmed that two of the buses are back in service with more to be added over the coming weeks.

A First Bus spokesman said: “We are pleased to confirm two of our zero-emissions hydrogen buses have returned to service in Aberdeen.

“It is expected the number of hydrogen buses in service will continue to increase gradually over the coming weeks as we return our fleet to its full complement.

“The 60-seat double-deckers not only help to tackle air pollution in the city by saving one kilogram of Co2 with each kilometre they drive, they are virtually silent when they run, helping to create quieter, calmer streets.”

Aberdeen’s double-decker hydrogen bus fleet will gradually return to service. Supplied by Aberdeen City Council.

Upgrading the buses

An engineer discovered an issue with the mounting bracket at the rear of the Hydroliner during a routine check in February.

This came just a year after they were first launched in the city.

The whole fleet was taken off the roads so Wright Bus, the company that builds the hydrogen-powered buses, could “upgrade and replace” the part.

At the time, a spokeswoman from the company said their buses had an “enviable safety record” but work was required to prevent a repeat of the issues.

Low emission buses from Glasgow were brought up north to “minimise the impact” of the temporary withdrawal, covering routes normally powered by the hydrogen fleet, including the number 19 Peterculter to Tillydrone service.

The 60-seater double-deckers are the first of their kind in the world.

Each vehicle is estimated to save around 80 tonnes of C02 emissions each year as they only emit water. The hydrogen used to power the vehicles is also made in Aberdeen using electricity made from wind power.

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