European Hydrogen Transit Buses in Scotland

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Transport and refuelling infrastructure


The project objective is two fold:

  • to prove that a hybrid fuel cell bus is capable of meeting the operational performance of an equivalent diesel bus on demanding inter-city UK routes, whilst considerably exceeding its environmental performance.
  • to reduce the refuelling times for hydrogen buses through the use of a state of the art hydrogen refuelling station using ionic compression and fast flow dispensing technology that will allow a breakthrough in refuelling speed to up to 120 grams per second.


  • To demonstrate an operational availability for the hydrogen buses equivalent to diesel of over 90%
  • To demonstrate hydrogen consumption below 10kg/100km - a considerable improvement on the state of the art and on the competitor diesel technology.
  • To demonstrate a lifetime of over 12,000 hours without a fuel cell stack replacement.
  • To demonstrate a reduction in the unit cost of the bus to below 1.1 million euros for the first time
  • To demonstrate a progression in the fast flow refuelling of hydrogen buses


Hydrogen buses have the potential to play a significant role in expanding the use of hydrogen in the transport sector. To date, however hydrogen bus demonstrations have been focussed on urban buses only, leaving inter-city transit applications completely unaddressed. In addition, only a limited number of European regions have had the chance to trial hydrogen bus technology, which means the technology is relatively unknown to the majority of European bus operators.

HyTransit will trial a fleet of hybrid fuel cell buses in daily fleet services, together with one state of the art hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen (Scotland) for four years. This project is designed to contribute to the commercialisation of hydrogen buses in Europe by:

  • Bringing together an industrial consortium from across Europe to deliver the project, including buses from Van Hool (Belgium) and state of the art refuelling technology from BOC (UK).
  • Develop a A330 hybrid fuel cell bus platform specifically modified for long sub-urban routes.
  • Generate new Intellectual Property for Europe by developing the concept design for the world’s first hybrid fuel cell coach for long-route transit applications.
  • Exposing the buses to real world operation with exactly the same service requirements as diesel buses, with 14 hours and 270km per day operation.
  • A state of the art hydrogen refuelling station will be constructed to serve the bus fleet. The station will be based on ionic compressors, configured to allow a refuelling speed of up to 120 grams per second. The station will be supplied with electrolytic hydrogen from a nearby wind farm.
  • Taking the first step for a large-scale rollout of hydrogen buses in Scotland. The next logical step after this project is Scottish Government support for the deployment of a minimum of 50 buses.  This project will be the first step to realising this vision for Scotland.
Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.1.1: Large-scale demonstration of road vehicles and refuelling infrastructure IV Large-scale demonstration of road vehicles and refuelling infrastructure IV
Project type: 
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
End date: 
Monday, December 31, 2018
54 months (originally), extended to 72 months
Project cost: 
€ 16,321,165.57
Project funding: 
€ 6,999,999

BOC Limited, UK

Mr Hamish Nichol
Other participating organisations: 
Organisation Country
Aberdeen City Council UK
Van Hool N,V Belgium
Stagecoach Bus Holdings Limited UK
Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Electro-Mobility in European Regions Belgium
Planet Planungsgruppe Energie Und Technik GBR Germany
Dantherm Power A.S Denmark
Element Energy Limited UK