Last reviewed 3 November 2020

As part of its Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot, Birmingham City Council has bought 20 new hydrogen double decker buses.

The buses, which are made by Wrightbus and are the world's first zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell double deckers, will be introduced with National Express West Midlands from April 2021.

Hydrogen buses consume four times less fuel in comparison to standard diesel buses, covering 300 miles on a single tank and with the ability to refuel within seven to 10 minutes.

They emit water vapour, meaning no carbon dioxide (CO2) or other harmful gases are being pumped in to the air.

The pilot is intended to be the catalyst for the next generation of hydrogen buses, hydrogen production and re-fuelling infrastructure development with fuel coming from a new re-fuelling hub at Tyseley Energy Park.

The development is expected to see the start of fuel cell technology supply chains within the region and will also help to support a new service and maintenance apprenticeship programme.

The City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar, said: “I’m delighted that we will be introducing hydrogen buses to Birmingham next year. Fuel cell buses offer a practical solution for cities to decarbonise public transport and immediately improve air quality.”

Once launched, he said, the Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot will be monitored and reviewed to analyse and ensure the ongoing commercial and operational viability of hydrogen buses, to enable a continued roll out of hydrogen fuel cell technology within bus fleets, as part of the city’s commitment to the environment and cleaner air.