Zero-emission hydrogen buses travel 1 million miles

This month sees a significant landmark in transport decarbonisation as Wrightbus zero-emission hydrogen double deckers clock up one million miles since first entering service last year.

Significant landmark in transport decarbonisation as Wrightbus zero-emission hydrogen double deckers clock up one million miles since entering service.

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

The resultant emissions reduction is the equivalent to taking almost 400 cars off the roads for a whole year.

Relentless press for support

“Hitting one million miles is an incredible landmark for our buses,” said Wrightbus executive chairman Jo Bamford. “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.”

Increased employment and production

When Mr Bamford took over Wrightbus, in October 2019, just 56 staff remained in the business. Largely thanks to its new zero-emission products, which include battery-electric and hydrogen double and single deck buses, it now employs more than 900 people.

Demand for its zero emission buses has been so great that output from its Ballymena factory this year will be double that achieved last year. And an impressive 70 per cent of all vehicles leaving the factory will be zero-emission models in 2022 – up from just 30 per cent in 2021.

The Wrightbus Streetdeck Hydroliner was launched in Aberdeen in 2020, with the fleet entering passenger service in January 2021. The Hydroliner bus emits only water vapour from its tailpipe, with no harmful emissions. 

When questioned with regard to the nature of the hydrogen fuel currently used Jo Bamford commented: “”The type of hydrogen used to fill our buses is determined by the fleet operators, rather than by Wrightbus. Our ultimate ambition would be to see all of our buses running on green hydrogen, as the UK transitions towards a zero-emission future.”

In addition to the Aberdeen fleet, the company’s zero-emission hydrogen buses are currently in operation in London, Birmingham, Dublin and Belfast, with several other local authorities looking to introduce them to their town and city streets to improve local air quality.