First Bus’ world-first hydrogen-powered double-decker buses are now fully operational, with engineering consultancy firm HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt completing work on the Aberdeen vehicle depot to ensure the correct infrastructure was put in place.

Funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Government, and the European Union Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU,) and manufactured by Wrightbus, the new fleet of buses cost a total of £8.3million, with each bus costing approximately £500,000.

With refuelling taking no more than 10 minutes, the double-deckers comfortably live up to the efficiency of electric equivalents. The buses are a great contribution to fulfilling the city’s pledge to combat air pollution, with carbon emissions greatly reduced as the only emission from the vehicles is water.

HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt provided both pre-tender and post-tender services. Pre-tender plans included conducting a full site survey, taking the lead on assessing and designing all new infrastructure required at the bus depot, producing all necessary drawings, specification, and tender package for the mechanical, electrical and public health works.

First Aberdeen’s Managing Director Andrew Jarvis says the work completed by HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt was a major part of the project.

“It was a pleasure to collaborate with HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt to adapt our depot in Aberdeen to be able to house the world’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses. The vehicles were launched successfully and so we are delighted and thankful to all our partners who helped us to deliver on this ground-breaking project for the city of Aberdeen.”

HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt has worked with First Bus, one of the largest bus operators in the UK, on numerous other projects and frameworks recently including a scheme to help introduce a range of electric vehicle (EV) charging points into their Aberdeen Depot to help with their EV fleet.

The double-deckers are a welcome addition to the existing fleet of greener vehicles the city already had in motion including several hydrogen and electric vans, road sweepers, and cars through a car share arrangement. 

The hydrogen buses are in line with the UK Government’s ten-point green industrial revolution program, with various cities throughout the United Kingdom looking to ‘go green’. Hydrogen doubles as a clean source of fuel and heat for homes, transport, and industry. 

The initiative carried out by Aberdeen City Council, First Bus and HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt is in line with the city’s desire to become the energy capital of Europe. The council says the buses show the city’s commitment to the transition of green energy from oil and gas, as part of the Net Zero Vision.

The World’s First hydrogen-powered buses are now fully operational around the streets of Aberdeen. For more information, click here.