Wrightbus is planning to introduce 3,000 hydrogen buses to the UK, which it says will help lead the UK’s economic recovery post-coronavirus.
The comments came from Jo Bamford, owner of Wrightbus and hydrogen firm Ryse Hydrogen, who says he has already submitted his vision in a document to government ministers.
Mr Bamford says there has been interest in the buses from local authorities in Aberdeen, London, Bimingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast.
He believes that an introduction of hydrogen buses will lead to a ‘knock-on transformation’ of other heavy-duty vehicles, such as lorries, trains, ships and even ambulances and police cars and help to create ‘hundreds of thousands’ of new green jobs across the country.
Mr Bamford has asked the government to set aside £500m – 10% of the National Bus Strategy fund – for the UK’s hydrogen industry. He says roughly about £200m of this is needed to build the hydrogen production facilities and bespoke, zero-emission transportation vehicles to take it to bus depots in city centres.
He said: ‘Cities around the world are seeing massive reductions in air pollution as many vehicles have been kept off the road during the pandemic.’
‘However, the reality is that if we just go back to how public transport has traditionally been run, levels of pollution will quickly rise again to the same levels as before the crisis. We have an opportunity with hydrogen powered transport to make a huge difference to air quality, and for UK jobs as well. With increased orders on this scale I could increase the workforce at Wrightbus by nearly 700%.
‘UK-made hydrogen buses are ready to hit the streets today. We already have hydrogen buses in London, and 20 of Wrightbus’ world-leading double deckers will be added to this later this year. We also have orders from Aberdeen, with many other areas becoming interested in our technology – in the UK and across the world.’
In related news, last week Arcola Energy and Optare Group announced the launch of a new hydrogen double-decker bus.
Built in the UK and aimed at both domestic and international markets, the two companies believe the new bus will make an important contribution to city air quality and a low carbon economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.
Scheduled to enter service in 2021, the Metrodecker H2 hydrogen bus is built on the Optare Metrodecker EV platform. It incorporates a hydrogen fuel cell powerpack developed by Arcola Energy as a direct replacement for the battery powerpack in the Metrodecker EV.
Photo Credit – Wrightbus