Dundee scraps hydrogen fuel cell buses
The Scottish city of Dundee has scrapped a project that would have seen twelve hydrogen fuel cell buses joining public transport. The Council said it needed the cash elsewhere since costs had gone up, for example, in construction, so hydrogen became “less of a priority”.
Lib Dem Councillor Fraser Macpherson said they supported scraping the hydrogen investment. Speaking to the Courier, he said: “If I’m being perfectly honest with you, it’s the one (project) we felt was less of a priority, and we didn’t look to save it (in the budget revision).”
In Dundee, the latest plan was to finance the buses in private-public partnership with Arcola Energy. A spokesperson told the local newspaper the firm had not been involved in any recent discussions on its future.
An unnamed Dundee City Council spokesperson added the viability of the project hinged on private funding, and it was not responsible for its management.
Initially, however, the hydrogen fuel cell bus plan was made in April 2018, still with funding through the EU Jive 2 project the Council had applied for.
Aberdeen was also part of the deal and has since gone ahead. Operator First Bus announced the fleet of hydrogen double-deckers in 202, with 15 vehicles costing £8.3 million in council-secured grants from the EU and Scottish Government.
As for Dundee, scrapping the hydrogen bus fleet does not mean the city was not decarbonising its public transport. “Dundee leads the way in the Scottish authorities in terms of the council’s electric fleet as well as electric charge points, and bus companies themselves have done a lot on electric and hybrid buses,” Cllr Fraser pointed out.
Last in our news in late 2021, operator Xplore Dundee, part of the McGill’s Group, took delivery of a dozen battery-electric double-deckers built by Alexander Dennis and BYD. McGill’s had received funding through the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme (SUBLEBS). In March, the Government in Scotland awarded £40.5 million through a second round of the scheme to help replace 215 diesel buses with battery-electric models, as reported.
The image shows a fuel cell bus in Switzerland as developed through project Jive.
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