Project Zebra hope for zero emission buses

Published: 29 October 2021

Buses at Derby Bus Station

Derby bus station

Derby City Council recently submitted an Expression of Interest for funding for a project called ‘Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas’ (Project Zebra) and whilst this bid has not been successful in securing funding this time round, launching the scheme remains our ambition and we are keen to continue to develop the plans and look for additional funding opportunities in the future.

Project Zebra looked at the potential of launching a hydrogen bus scheme in the city and into the county too as a kickstart not just for transport but in other areas of economic development and decarbonisation.

The joint scheme proposal would look to fund a minimum of 30 buses, split between double deckers and single deckers on urban and rural routes to replace diesel buses with zero emission hydrogen buses with a direct one-to-one ratio. 

Due to the cost of refuelling and the vehicle range, hydrogen is the only feasible option for the mix of rural and urban routes, servicing the Derby travel to work areas from rural Derbyshire, and the Mill Towns and Market Towns to centres of employment in and around Derby and the wider county.

The overall scheme would be expected to cost £40 -£50 million and the recent bid sought between £30-£35 million to help make the scheme viable. The bid document can be viewed on the council website

Councillor Steve Hassall, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Decarbonisation, Strategic Planning & Transport said:

Whilst we were not successful bidding for Project Zebra this time around, it remains a firm ambition of the council to work on developing this scheme and further work on future fuels that will both drive down our carbon emissions and offer a choice to the residents of the city to use environmentally friendly transport options

The council is committed to the decarbonisation agenda as the threat of climate change increases.



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