The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched England’s first hydrogen double-decker buses. The 20 new buses are the first of their kind to be launched in England; the new hydrogen fuel cell double decker buses are first being introduced on route 7 between East Acton and Oxford Circus.
The buses were manufactured by Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, and the gas cylinders are manufactured by Luxfer in Nottingham. The hydrogen for the buses is currently being produced at Air Liquide’s plant in Runcorn, harnessing waste hydrogen as a by-product from an industrial chlor-alkali plant. Oxford-based Ryze Hydrogen is responsible for transporting the fuel to the fueling station. From 2023, the hydrogen will be even greener as it will be produced by electrolysis powered by a direct connection to an offshore windfarm.
A new fueling station completed by Danish engineering firm Nel Hydrogen, in collaboration with multinational consultancy firm Linesight, will top up each hydrogen fuel cell bus just once per day in as little as five minutes.
In addition to around £6 million (US$8.3 million) of funding from TfL, more than £5 million (US$6.9 million) of funding has been provided by European bodies—by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), an executive agency of the European Commission—as well as £1 million (US$1.4 million) from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles.
TfL has paved the way for cheaper hydrogen buses across the rest of the UK, having led the UK procurement within the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles across Europe (JIVE), to buy in bulk with other UK authorities. In total, the JIVE project seeks to deploy 139 new zero-emission fuel cell buses and associated refuelling infrastructure across five European countries and has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.