The Euro 5.67 million funding comes from the EU’s Cleaner Hydrogen in Cities (CHIC) project and will provide finance for three more buses.

TfL already has five hydrogen buses which will come into service in central London later this year.

The buses use zero-emission hydrogen hybrid fuel cell technology and emit water vapour. The buses are part of the project to help tackle London’s CO2 emissions.

Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership and deputy mayor for policing Kit Malthouse, said: “This is knockout news for the Mayor’s plans to cleanse the air we breathe every day.

“Hydrogen vehicles emit only water from their exhaust pipe, unlike the fumes and pollution petrol and diesel engines spew forth.”

The buses will be delivered in partnership with ISE Corporation and Wrightbus with Ballard supplying the fuel cells and Air Products the hydrogen fuel.

London is one of five European partners benefiting from the EU investment in hydrogen technology, alongside Oslo in Norway, Milan and Bolzano in Italy and Aargau/St Gallen in Switzerland.

Between December 2003 to January 2007 TfL took part in the Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) project trialling three first generation hydrogen fuel cell buses on route RV1 over a period of three years. All eight buses will be in service by the end of 2011.

London Buses operations director, Mike Weston, said: “London faces many environmental challenges but with this funding now secured we can fully consider hydrogen and demonstrate the long term benefits which can be made in tackling CO2 emissions.

“We are delighted that this additional funding will allow us to have a bus route fully operating with hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses, and this marks an exciting new chapter for London Buses as we embrace new technologies to further build on the excellent work we are doing to improve air quality for Londoners.”

When the buses enter service they will be operated on behalf of London buses by First Group. They will be refuelled and maintained at First Group’s Lea Interchange bus garage. Work is currently underway to build the hydrogen refuelling site.

Alison Brown

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