First Cymru begins hydrogen-powered bus trials

Bus operator First Cymru has trialled a HyBont hydrogen bus 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.

Ahead of deploying the bus on routes 72, 74 and 76 from First Cymru’s Brynmenyn depot, drivers were trained to use the vehicles, including learning how to refuel them at Hyppo Hydrogen’s depot in Neath Port Talbot.

The bus runs on locally produced green hydrogen from Port Talbot. By 2028, Welsh Government has a target for all Wales buses to be zero emission.

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

Tomoki Nishino, chief executive 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, chief executive 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.”