Glasgow City Council has announced that its entire fleet of vehicles, including 23 gritters, street sweepers and refuse vehicles, will be replaced with dual fuel hydrogen models following an £805,000 funding award.

It said the renewal of its 2,000-strong vehicle fleet was a vital part of the council’s response to the impending climate emergency.

The council secured the investment from Transport Scotland’s Switched on Fleets fund and its aim is to have emissions-free vehicles by 2029.

It is intended that only electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, across all sizes and classifications, will be used to deliver city-wide services by 2030.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Electric vehicle technology is evolving rapidly and will be able to support a wide range of tasks undertaken by our vehicles.

“But the green technology for heavier vehicles is still emerging and so we have the opportunity to influence the market for ourselves and other major transport providers.

“The funding award from Transport Scotland will help to ensure larger dual fuel hydrogen gritters are up and running in the early part of next year.

“These dual fuel vehicles should act as a significant stepping stone towards emissions-free gritters and refuse trucks as part of our wider strategy for a zero emissions fleet.”

However, Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth, described hydrogen as “a dead end for transport fuels which is being heavily promoted by the fossil fuel industry".

He said: “If Glasgow invests in hydrogen vehicles they will find them to be very expensive white elephants in the future.

“There are already electric single and double decker buses in London, electric buses in four Scottish cities, electric bin lorries on trial in Sheffield and plans to build electric waste trucks in the UK.

“Electric vehicles, even large ones, are the future, so there is no need to go to the expense or take the risk of using hydrogen to run vehicles.”

Dixon added: “The plan admits that hydrogen trucks are extremely expensive.  Electricity is clearly winning the big vehicle war over hydrogen. If you are going to spend lots of money replacing a fleet, spend it on electric vehicles because they are the only sensible option.”