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Hydrogen hits the Highlands – Inverness to trial hydrogen bus this month


By Louise Glen

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The hydrogen bus will be in the Highlands this month.
The hydrogen bus will be in the Highlands this month.

Inverness will soon become the next city to trial a hydrogen bus on routes across the city and as far north as Dingwall, Alness and Muir of Ord.

As a combined initiative between HITRANS, Protium Energy Limited and Opportunity Cromarty Firth, the hydrogen fuel cell bus is expected to operate from mid-October through to the November 2021 on bus routes operated by Stagecoach Highlands.

The trial will conclude following the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

HITRANS chairman Councillor Allan Henderson said: “HITRANS is delighted to be involved in this project from the outset after an approach from Protium Energy Limited. In funding the hydrogen supply from Element2 we are demonstrating that the Highlands and Islands are willing and able play a key part in the development of Scotland’s hydrogen economy.”

David Beaton, managing director at Stagecoach Highlands, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the hydrogen bus to our depot in Inverness. The future of transport is undoubtedly heading towards ultra-low and zero emission so it is really exciting to be able to trial this next generation of vehicles.

"Travelling by bus, when we can, is one of the easiest ways to address climate change through carbon reduction of our own journeys.”

Tim Harper, of Element 2, said: “We are thrilled to be supplying the hydrogen for Stagecoach Highlands.

"It further reiterates our commitment to Scotland and our plans for growth. As with all Element 2’s supply, the hydrogen will be from green or sustainable sources, in our commitment to the helping the UK reach it’s net-zero targets.”

The hydrogen fuel cell bus is expected to operate on Stagecoach services 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the city and services 25, 26, 27 and 28 to the north of Inverness.

The Caetano hydrogen fuel cell bus has a 60kW Fuel Cell and a 44kW battery pack, providing a range of 400km with 30km of this distance powered by battery alone.

The high performance bus emits zero CO2 emissions and the hydrogen fuel cells are stored in the vehicles roof, allowing more space on board for the comfort of passengers.

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