First Cymru trials hydrogen bus in Bridgend

HyBont hydrogen bus has been trialled with bus operator First Cymru as part of a two-week pilot to offer a cleaner alternative to conventional diesel buses.

The bus has been travelling from the First Cymru depot in Brynmenyn Industrial Estate across routes 72, 74 and 76. Drivers have been trained to use the vehicles, including learning how to refuel them at the Hyppo Hydrogen’s depot in Neath Port Talbot.

The bus runs on locally produced green hydrogen from Port Talbot to provide more sustainable transport options for communities. Welsh Government has a target for all Wales buses to be zero emission by 2028.

Marubeni Europower, the company bringing forward proposals for the HyBont green hydrogen project in Bridgend, is supporting the bus trial.

Tomoki Nishino, CEO and President, said:

“Hydrogen fuelled buses offer a practical solution for communities to decarbonise public transport and immediately improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. These trials are great news for Bridgend as they could lead the way for cleaner public transport.”

David Thomas, First Cymru’s Operations Manager, said:

“The bus has proved popular among both our drivers and passengers. Our colleagues have spoken about how lovely the bus is to drive with it being very responsive on hills and tackling some of the more challenging routes with ease, which is great in the Cymru landscape, and passengers love the fact it’s zero emissions and that it is so much quieter, allowing them to talk to fellow passengers without shouting.”

Chris Foxall, CEO of Hyppo Hydrogen Solutions, the hydrogen services provider based in South Wales that has deployed the bus, said:

“Hydrogen buses like the one used in this trial have a huge positive benefit to people living locally. A similar trial was carried out in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot recently with very positive results and we look forward to seeing hydrogen buses rolled out across the region in the near future.”

The HyBont bus first made its Bridgend debut as part of the Senior Open in Royal Porthcawl at the end of July, with a service put on to take spectators to the golf club from Sarn Station Park and Ride and Bridgend train station.

Image caption:  A zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell bus in Bridgend ©2023  Marubeni