Hydrogen bus trialled in Kent

Kent County Council marked Clean Air Day last week with the launch of a hydrogen bus trial.

Working in partnership with Go Coach, supported by Abellio, the zero-emissions Caetano Hydrogen Bus was trialled in Sevenoaks.

The H2 City Gold is a single deck bus powered by hydrogen with an electric drivetrain. The bus works by taking air in and mixing the oxygen and hydrogen to create electricity through a fuel cell.

This generates electricity and water through a chemical reaction. Electricity is then supplied to the traction motor, with the only emissions being water.

The hydrogen bus offers a range of 250 miles, based on full zero-emission running, providing an alternative solution for high mileage routes.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “This is a very exciting trial for us and we will be evaluating this innovative new technology to assess whether it can provide an alternative for diesel buses in the county.

“Buses already contribute to our environmental goals by removing cars from the road but we believe more can be done. We are working with bus operators to lead the shift away from fossil fuels towards cleaner vehicles.”

Students from Sevenoaks’ Knole Academy got a close up look at the hydrogen bus at the start of its trial in the town.

Shane Hymers, Fastrack Development Manager, said: ‘We have been looking very closely at a number of options for going zero emissions on our Fastrack networks and we would like to thank Abellio, Go-Coach and Caetano for giving us this opportunity to see a Hydrogen bus in action on our very doorstep. Fastrack will be going zero emissions for the next Fastrack operator contract from later 2022. While we haven’t yet landed on a preferred approach for energy, one thing is certain, diesel’s days on Fastrack are numbered.”

Austin Blackburn, Go Coach Managing Director, commented: “It is very exciting to be trialling the Caetano H2 City Gold hydrogen bus and we thank Abellio for supporting us in this initiative to showcase this vehicle in Kent.

“The use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel is a very interesting and credible option to deliver zero emissions and we look forward to trialling this bus to compare with our growing knowledge of electric vehicles.”

Image: Shutterstock.

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