A fleet of hydrogen double-decker buses will be rolled out in Birmingham next year as part of the city’s efforts to decarbonise public transport and improve air quality.
Birmingham City Council’s Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot will see the deployment of 20 new hydrogen buses – claimed to be the world’s first zero emission hydrogen fuel cell double deckers – made by Wrightbus.
They will be operated by National Express West Midlands in Birmingham from April 2021.
The council has also teamed up with ITM, which will be producing and dispensing the hydrogen fuel from the new refuelling hub at Tyseley Energy Park.
Hydrogen buses consume four times less fuel compared to standard diesel buses, covering 300 miles on a single tank and with the ability to refuel within seven to 10 minutes.
They emit water vapour, which means no carbon dioxide or other harmful gases are pumped into the atmosphere.
Each bus is expected to help the council save up to 79.3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Once rolled out, the pilot will be monitored and reviewed to analyse and ensure the ongoing commercial and operational viability of hydrogen buses to enable a continued rollout of hydrogen fuel cell technology within bus fleets.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment said: “I’m delighted that we will be introducing hydrogen buses to Birmingham next year. Fuel cell buses offer a practical solution for cities to decarbonise public transport and immediately improve air quality.
“This pilot is a significant step towards our net zero carbon target and will provide Birmingham with a leading role in informing debate on supportive policies for zero emission public transport at a local and national level.”