Fleet News: Hydrogen Buses Make Their Debut on British RoadsJuly 7, 2023
The H2 passenger buses are manufactured by Wrightbust and are part of Go-Ahead Group’s fleet.
Go-Ahead Group, a leading bus and rail operator in Britain, recently announced the launch of its pioneering fleet of hydrogen buses, which will be deployed to carry passengers on routes in the Crawley, Horley and Gatwick Airport area.
The fleet will consist of 54 fuel cell buses.
At present, only 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses will be deployed. However, once the remaining 34 hydrogen buses are fully delivered, there will be a total of 54 vehicles, making it one of the largest hydrogen bus fleets in the nation.
The zero-emission buses manufactured by Wrightbus are the first in Go-Ahead’s over 6,000 fleet of buses to be powered by hydrogen. They are capable of carrying heavy loads and covering long ranges, making them ideal for local routes around the intensively used Gatwick area, as they can operate 24 hours a day, all year long.
According to Richard Holden MP, Minister for Roads and Local Transport, the hydrogen buses are backed by more than £4.3 million ($5.47 million) of funding from the Ultra-Low Emission Bus scheme. The MP added that Go-Ahead’s latest fleet put Britain “well on the way” to meeting its 4,000 ZEBs (zero-emission buses) target.
The hydrogen buses will be served by a liquid hydrogen refueling station.
This station, which was launched along with the fleet of hydrogen buses, will be the largest of its kind in Europe once it reaches full capacity. It is located in Crawley and is owned and operated by world-leading industrial gas company, Air Products.
Hydrogen will be stored in liquid form at the Metrobus Crawley depot before it is converted to gas held in tanks on the roof of the buses.
Once the station reaches full capacity, it will be capable of providing enough fuel for more than 100 H2 buses every day.
Go-Ahead supports a net zero future for transport.
“These fantastic buses and the innovative refuelling depot demonstrate Go-Ahead’s commitment to investing in a net zero future for transport,” Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive, The Go-Ahead Group, said in a recent Go-Ahead Group news release announcing the launch of the hydrogen buses fleet and refueling station.
“We’re already the leading operator of electric buses in Britain and we believe hydrogen is a further piece in the jigsaw of decarbonising public transport – to the benefit of the environment and local communities,” Schreyer added.
- What are hydrogen buses? Hydrogen buses are a type of public transportation that uses hydrogen fuel cells for power. These buses emit only water vapor, making them a zero-emission form of transport.
- How does it work? Hydrogen buses use a fuel cell to generate electricity. The fuel cell combines hydrogen (stored in tanks on the bus) with oxygen from the air to produce electricity, which powers the motor and charges the battery. The only byproduct of this process is water vapor.
- Are hydrogen buses safe? Yes, hydrogen buses are safe. The hydrogen used in these buses is stored in secure tanks designed to withstand impacts. Additionally, hydrogen is lighter than air and disperses quickly, reducing the risk in case of a leak.
- What are the benefits of hydrogen public transportation? Hydrogen buses are environmentally friendly, producing only water vapor as a byproduct. They contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. Moreover, they operate quietly, reducing noise pollution.
- Who manufactures the buses? Various manufacturers around the world produce hydrogen buses. One such manufacturer is Wrightbus, who has recently supplied hydrogen buses for the Go-Ahead Group’s fleet in the UK.
- Where are they being used? Hydrogen buses are being used in several cities worldwide. Recently, the Go-Ahead Group launched a fleet of hydrogen buses in the Crawley, Horley, and Gatwick Airport area in the UK.
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