The Go-Ahead Group, in collaboration with Wrightbus, has made a significant stride towards sustainable transportation by launching the first liquid hydrogen refuelling station for buses in Europe. This groundbreaking initiative will see a fleet of 20 zero-emission buses deployed in the Crawley, Horley, and Gatwick Airport area, providing clean and efficient transportation options for local routes.
Designed by Wrightbus, these buses are capable of covering long distances and carrying heavy loads, making them well-suited for the demanding local routes around Gatwick that operate round the clock, 365 days a year. With their zero-emission operation, these buses contribute to reducing air pollution and improving the overall environmental impact of public transportation.
The liquid hydrogen refuelling station, located in Crawley, is owned and operated by Air Products, a global leader in industrial gases. Once it reaches full capacity, it will become the largest facility of its kind in Europe, supplying fuel equivalent to over 100 buses per day. This development marks a significant milestone in the adoption of hydrogen as a clean energy source for public transportation.
Richard Holden MP, Minister for Roads and Local Transport, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, emphasizing the positive impact that hydrogen buses can have on communities and commuters. The introduction of these UK-made hydrogen buses, supported by £4.3 million in funding from the Ultra-Low Emission Bus scheme, has the potential to revolutionize transport, offering quieter and smoother journeys for millions of passengers.
The ambitious commitment to zero-emission buses in the UK is evident with nearly 3,400 Zero Emission Buses funded since February 2020. The addition of this fleet of 20 hydrogen buses brings the country closer to its target of 4,000 Zero Emission Buses, showcasing the government’s dedication to sustainable transportation and reducing carbon emissions.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of London Gatwick Airport, highlighted the importance of sustainability and the airport’s financial contribution to the project. The new fleet of hydrogen buses serves a vital route for passengers and airport staff, ensuring convenient and eco-friendly travel options, even during late-night and early-morning hours.
The efforts towards sustainable transportation extend beyond this initiative, as Surrey County Council has invested £16.4 million to deploy a total of 54 hydrogen fuel cell buses across the county. This investment positions Surrey as one of the pioneers in adopting hydrogen technology for public transportation, creating one of the largest hydrogen bus fleets in the UK.
The launch of Europe’s first liquid hydrogen refuelling station for buses is a significant step towards achieving cleaner and greener transportation. It demonstrates the commitment of companies like Go-Ahead Group, Wrightbus, and Air Products to innovate and invest in sustainable solutions. With the integration of hydrogen buses into the public transportation system, we move closer to reducing emissions and creating a more sustainable future for all.