Transport for London (TfL) has ordered 20 fuel cell double-decker buses from the Northern Irish manufacturer Wrightbus. The transit operator will use the hydrogen-powered buses in the British capital starting next year on routes 245, 7 and N7.
TfL is investing around 12 million pounds (about 13.9 million euros) in the new fuel cell buses and the corresponding hydrogen refilling infrastructure. More than 5 million pounds (5.78 million euros) will be provided by European institutions and around 1 million pounds (1.16 million euros) by the British Office of Low Emission Vehicles.
The 10.9 metre long double-deckers offer a total of 64 seats. The basic version has a range of around 320 km. Wrightbus presented the model called StreetDeck FCEV only at the beginning of November at the latest Euro Bus Expo. The StreetDeck FCEV uses Ballard’s FCVelocity FC fuel cell system and a drive train from Siemens. The fuel cell bus was developed as part of the EU-funded JIVE project. Wrightbus is named as the sole supplier of FC double-deckers for Great Britain within the scope of the project. As of November, a total of 50 StreetDeck FCEVs are to be deployed in London, Birmingham and Aberdeen.
Public transit operator Transport for London is expanding its zero-emission bus fleet with the 20 FC double-deckers. The fleet currently comprises 145 electric buses, with a further 68 electric double-deckers to be added by summer. In line with this, TfL recently announced that line 323 would be fully electric by next year, along with two other routes which are to be mentioned later this month.
The Liverpool area will also gain experience with fuel cell buses shortly: Up to 25 units are expected to be integrated into regular service on a project basis from 2020. In contrast to the London case, however, the buses will be the Enviro400 double-decker type developed by Alexander Dennis and Arcola Energy.