A plan to bring 3,000 hydrogen buses to the UK have been revealed by JCB heir Jo Bamford.
Mr Bamford, who leads a green hydrogen production company, Ryse said zero carbon, UK-made hydrogen technologies must play a pivotal role in driving the British economy forward.
He believes that an urgent introduction of hydrogen buses will lead to a knock-on transformation of other heavy duty vehicles, creating hundreds of thousands of skilled, green collar jobs across the country.
In Mr Bamford’s vision, 3,000 hydrogen buses - about 10% of the UK’s total fleet - could be silently moving around UK towns and cities by 2024.
These vehicles will release only water vapour and save an estimated 280,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of taking roughly 107,000 cars off the road a year.
'Cities around the world are seeing massive reductions in air pollution as many vehicles have been kept off the road during the pandemic,' said Mr Bamford.
'However, the reality is that if we just go back to how public transport has traditionally been run, levels of pollution will quickly rise again to the same levels as before the crisis. We have an opportunity with hydrogen powered transport to make a huge difference to air quality, and for UK jobs as well. With increased orders on this scale I could increase the workforce at Wrightbus by nearly 700%.'
Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: 'It is clear that a range of technologies will be needed to take the UK's transport system to net zero carbon emissions. Battery electric is not going to be viable for all uses, so buses fuelled by green hydrogen will be necessary to serve longer ranges and rural routes, and hydrogen lorries to move heavier loads over longer distances.'