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Shapps reveals hydrogen bus competition


26 June 2020

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced plans for a hydrogen bus town following lobbying from the UK’s nascent green hydrogen transport sector.

Shapps revealed the plan in evidence to the House of Commons transport committee this week. 

British industrialist Jo Bamford has been pressing the Government to run a hydrogen bus town competition ever since ministers announced a plan for an all-electric bus town in February (LTT 07 Feb).

Bamford bought bus manufacturer Wrightbus last year, which has produced a hydrogen double decker, and also owns Ryse Hydrogen, a ‘green’ hydrogen production company. Ryse has just secured planning permission for a hydrogen production plant in Kent that will supply fuel for a fleet of 20 hydrogen buses in London (see page 20).

Bamford told LTT the all-electric bus town competition would benefit Chinese battery manufacturers, whereas hydrogen could kickstart the UK hydrogen economy (LTT 01 May).

Bamford has urged the Government to fund a 3,000 hydrogen bus programme. “We’re delighted that the secretary of state shares our vision and belief that the UK can lead the world in hydrogen technology,” said Bamford. “As the producer of the world’s-first double decker hydrogen bus, we have been encouraging the Government to consider a hydrogen bus town. Hydrogen buses are essential for longer routes and heavy usage, as they can do many more miles than an electric bus and take only five minutes to be refuelled.”

Forty-one British businesses are now backing the Hydrogen Strategy Now campaign.

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