The 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double decker buses have been hailed as a key step towards tackling the city’s poor air quality and achieving the council’s net zero carbon target.
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Birmingham City Council has unveiled the first of its 20 new hydrogen buses, which are set to be in operation later in 2021.
The new buses have been purchased as part of the Council’s Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot, which looks to ‘kick-start’ the hydrogen market as a viable zero-emission fuel. They have been hailed as another solution to tackling the city’s poor air quality and a key step towards achieving the council’s net zero carbon target.
Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar, said: “Fuel cell buses offer a practical solution for cities to decarbonise public transport and immediately improve air quality. The delivery of the first bus is great news for our city and the rest of the region. It means that we can now work with our partners at National Express to start testing the buses, training drivers and adding livery design before rolling the buses out for the public in autumn 2021. This 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.”
The buses – which are made by Wrightbus – will be operated in Birmingham by National Express, the first in England (outside of London).
It is intended that Birmingham’s Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot will be the catalyst for the next generation of hydrogen buses, hydrogen production and re-fuelling infrastructure development.
The pilot has been funded through Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Birmingham City Council and JIVE project funding from the European Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) under grant agreement No. 735582. The FCH JU receives support from the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.
The council have also collaborated with ITM Power, who will be producing and dispensing the hydrogen fuel from the new re-fuelling hub at Tyseley Energy Park.
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