Transport for London (via their contractor Tower Transit) has been running zero emission hydrogen fuel cell buses on route RV1 between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway since 2011.

They now have eight buses in operation which means it is the first time a whole route has been fully operated by hydrogen powered buses in the UK.

Although hydrogen-powered vehicles are costly, TfL are kick-starting commercial use of these vehicles and raising awareness of their environmental advantages.

As demand increases, it is expected costs will decline and hydrogen technology will become a more affordable and viable alternative.

Reliability has improved massively since London first took part in the Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) trial of hydrogen buses between 2007 and 2009.

London is now part of CHIC, the Clean Hydrogen In European Cities project, which is the essential next step leading to the full market commercialization of Fuel Cell Hydrogen powered (FCH) buses.

The project involves integrating 26 FCH buses in daily public transport operations and bus routes in five locations across Europe – Aargau (Switzerland), Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), London (UK), Milan (Italy), and Oslo (Norway).

The CHIC project is supported by the European Union’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) with funding of €26m, and has 23 partners from across Europe, which includes industrial partners for vehicle supply and refuelling infrastructure.

For further facts about the CHIC project, click here for the fact sheet and here for the Q&A.

Visit our publications to view the project’s emerging conclusions.

Visit the CHIC website