Dundee is getting on board with the latest in public transport technology, as a dozen hydrogen buses are set to take to the city’s streets.
The fleet of buses is being funded by a European clean air project called the Joint Initiative for Hydrogen Vehicles Across Europe (JIVE).
An “energy park” will also be built to top up the hydrogen buses, powered by renewable energy.
It means Dundee joins Aberdeen as one of only two cities in Scotland pioneering the hi-tech transport.
An operator for the buses is yet to be decided — although it is understood that the preference is for one company to run the fleet as a whole.
While a date hasn’t been set for the buses to roll out, the Granite City joined the scheme in 2013 and its fleet of buses became operational in 2015.
Both cities joined the project through the Scottish Cities Alliance (SCA), which aims to promote Scotland’s seven cities across the globe.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander, who is also chairman of the SCA, said he was “delighted” to see Dundee embracing the technology.
He added: “Working with the Scottish Cities Alliance, these buses and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure will further progress the decarbonisation of our cities by providing zero-emission buses for our citizens.”
Hydrogen fuel cells mix the highly flammable gas with oxygen and use the resulting reaction to power vehicles. And whereas petrol and diesel cars emit toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, the only by-product of fuel cells is water, meaning cleaner air.
However, while hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it is rarely found on its own — and at present, isolating it is expensive.
The JIVE project aims to make hydrogen buses a more attractive proposition for commercial operators by the early 2020s.