Local route to be served by zero-emission vehicles
Sadiq Khan with the new hydrogen bus at Perivale bus garage
The number 7 route which serves Acton, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush is set to be the first in the country to be served by hydrogen powered double deckers.
The 20 new buses, the first of their kind to be launched in England, will produce no pollution from their exhausts and join more than 500 electric buses in London’s core fleet which are already zero-emission.
Hydrogen used in a fuel cell is free from harmful emissions. The only by-product is water from the chemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen from air, a process that produces electricity to power the bus. Passengers should benefit from smoother, quieter journeys due to fewer vibrations and will be able to take advantage of free-to-use USB charging points.
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 fuelling station. Though the environmental benefits of hydrogen vehicles can often be outweighed by the carbon-intensive methods of producing hydrogen from 2023 it will be produced by electrolysis powered by a direct connection to an offshore windfarm.
A fuelling station completed by Danish engineering firm Nel Hydrogen will top up each hydrogen fuel cell bus just once per day in as little as five minutes.
In addition to around £6 million of funding from TfL, more than £5 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 from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visited Perivale bus depot this week to see the new hydrogen double decker and new hydrogen refuelling station.
HE said, “We have made real progress in London to clean up our air, but we still have a long way to go because toxic air pollution in our city is still leading to thousands of premature deaths every year and is stunting the growth of children’s lungs. As part of our world-leading ongoing efforts, I’m proud to announce England’s first hydrogen double decker buses, which don’t produce any harmful emissions, will now be put into service.
“Our investment in these hydrogen buses is not only helping us to clean up London’s air, but is supporting jobs and local economics across the UK. This is a great demonstration of how tackling air pollution and the climate crisis and boosting economic growth is about regions working together, investing in the very latest technology.
“I’ve worked hard to ensure TfL’s entire core bus fleet across London now meets the ULEZ standards, and this includes 500 electric buses. Our new investment in hydrogen buses will move us even closer to our ambition of making all London buses zero-emission by 2030.”
Sean O’Shea, CEO at bus company Metroline said, “Hydrogen is an extremely promising renewable fuel for public transport vehicles and we are looking forward to proving its application on London’s roads. The hydrogen buses are an exciting new addition to our fleet, and highlight Metroline’s continued dedication to making London’s streets greener. Our engineering teams have been hard at work preparing the buses for service and we are proud to be operating the first hydrogen powered double-deck buses in London in the hope that it will further showcase the application of sustainable vehicles in the capital.”
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June 24, 2021