Hydrogen buses coming to Birmingham in the spring

A council has purchased 20 new hydrogen double decker buses as part of its clean air hydrogen bus pilot.

Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City Council

It looks to help show that hydrogen is a viable zero-emission fuel.

The buses, which are made by Wrightbus and are the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double deckers, will be introduced with National Express West Midlands from April.

It is intended that pilot will be the catalyst for the next generation of hydrogen buses, hydrogen production and re-fuelling infrastructure development.

Birmingham City Council has also collaborated with ITM, who will be producing and dispensing the hydrogen fuel from the new re-fuelling hub at Tyseley Energy Park.

Hydrogen buses consume four times less fuel in comparison 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, meaning no carbon dioxide or other harmful gases are being pumped in to the air.

The buses will help improve the city’s poor air quality and mark a key step towards achieving the council’s net zero carbon target.


Each bus is expected to save up to 79.3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar, 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.

“It has taken us two years to get to a point where we can ensure commercial viability for this type of fuel cell technology and is great news for our city and the rest of the region.

"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.”

Wrightbus is also supplying vehicles to Aberdeen and London as a first in the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell double decker buses in the UK and within Europe. National Express plans to run the buses on the new Birmingham Sprint route when it opens.

Jo Bamford, owner and chairman of Wrightbus said: “We’re incredibly proud that these buses hold the title of being the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double deckers.”

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