The use of hydrogen as a fuel source across all modes of transport is rapidly gaining momentum. Projects and research developments into hydrogen fuel being used for (quite literally) planes, trains, and automobiles continue to flood our news feeds. It’s little wonder that hydrogen fuel is a hot topic at the moment. It carries many environmentally friendly benefits and, in many respects, has its lithium ion battery counterparts beat. Perhaps the most notable areas of which, are in refuel time and range – both of which are comparable to what a petrol or diesel equivalent can offer.

On that basis, one of the applications of hydrogen fuel that looks particularly promising is in the field of public transport. And it’s in this area that Aberdeen City Council has taken the lead by announcing that, from November, it will be the world’s first operator of a hydrogen-powered fleet of double-decker buses. The 15 buses in question have been added to the council’s existing fleet of hydrogen and battery-powered vans, road sweepers and cars. The council’s motivation for the investment was to tackle air pollution in the city and work towards Scotland becoming the world’s leading ‘hydrogen economy’.

The launch of the bus fleet in Aberdeen epitomises the investments we are seeing into hydrogen across public transport and logistics – where it is quickly becoming the preferred alternative fuel. TFL has recently invested in a fleet of 20 hydrogen-powered buses and road test programmes are underway in Japan for a new hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck. With carbon-neutrality and air quality at the top of many local and national government agendas, it’s fair to say that Aberdeen has set the benchmark for decarbonising public transport fleets across the UK and mainland Europe.