Blog by Raam Shanker

Greening Public Transit: Hydrogen-Battery Buses Lead the Way

As the world strives to reduce its carbon footprint and transition towards greener and more sustainable transportation options, hydrogen-battery hybrid buses have emerged as a beacon of hope. These innovative vehicles combine the benefits of hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries to power public transit systems. In this blog, we’ll delve into the success stories of hydrogen-battery buses, highlighting real-world examples that demonstrate reduced emissions and improved operational efficiency.

The Promise of Hydrogen-Battery Hybrid Buses:

Hydrogen-battery hybrid buses represent a dynamic fusion of two cutting-edge technologies, each with its unique advantages:

Hydrogen Fuel Cells: These cells generate electricity through the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, emitting only water vapor as a byproduct. This technology offers a clean and efficient energy source.

Lithium-Ion Batteries: Lithium-ion batteries provide an energy-dense and responsive power source, making them ideal for capturing and storing excess energy during braking and coasting.

Together, these technologies create a synergistic effect that addresses some of the key challenges facing public transit systems.

Real-World Success Stories:

Aberdeen, Scotland:

Aberdeen was among the first cities in the world to introduce a fleet of hydrogen-battery buses. The buses have been operating successfully since 2015, demonstrating their reliability in real-world conditions. These buses have played a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in the city.

Oslo, Norway:

Oslo’s public transit company, Ruter, deployed hydrogen-battery buses as part of its commitment to sustainability. These buses are lauded for their zero-emission operation and have contributed to the city’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.

California, USA:

California is a pioneer in adopting hydrogen-battery buses, with numerous transit agencies incorporating them into their fleets. These buses have helped the state make significant progress towards its emissions reduction targets and improve air quality in urban areas.

Reduced Emissions and Operational Efficiency:

Emissions Reduction: Hydrogen-battery buses produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them an environmentally friendly option. The elimination of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter significantly improves air quality, especially in urban centers.

Operational Efficiency: The combination of hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries allows buses to operate quietly and efficiently. Regenerative braking captures and stores energy during deceleration, enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing overall operational costs.

Extended Range: Hydrogen-battery buses offer extended range compared to battery-electric buses alone. This feature is especially valuable for transit agencies serving vast areas and long routes.

Fast Refueling: Hydrogen refueling is quick, taking only a few minutes, allowing buses to return to service promptly. This is a crucial advantage in maintaining transit schedules and meeting passenger demand.

The Equitus Advantage:
Equitus have been working on design, development and validation of various hydrogen systems for our clients. We are familiar with requirements of various regulations that stipulate the design and operational conditions for hydrogen systems.


Hydrogen-battery hybrid buses have made substantial strides in greening public transit systems worldwide. Their successful implementation in cities like Aberdeen, Oslo, and across California showcases their ability to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and enhance operational efficiency. As more cities embrace these innovative vehicles, we can anticipate a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable future for public transportation. The road to greener transit has never looked more promising, thanks to the power of hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries working in harmony.