Developments over the next three years could turn fuel-cell technology from the eye-wateringly expensive stuff of laboratories to practical reality comparable with battery electrics, as ALAN MILLAR learnt at a conference in the UK city with more of these buses than in any other across Europe

Stagecoach North Scotland 29002 (SV14 DMU), initially the most reliable of the six Van Hool A330s operated on route X17 to Elrick, climbing Market Street in Aberdeen city centre. One of the company’s 13 Alexander Dennis Enviro350H hybrids is the next bus in following traffic.

Many still regard hydrogen fuel-cell buses as playthings of nutty professors — clever zero emission technology that is way too expensive and unproven to be practical, but its supporters are determined not only to change that perception but also the reality. Many of them gathered in Aberdeen in March to share their experience and hopes for the future.

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