Las Vegas, thought by many to be the entertainment capital of the world and something of a sin city, may soon become an eco-friendly role-model around the globe as it embraces a hydrogen transport network.

The 'city that never sleeps' has introduced 2 hydrogen fuel buses from Ford Motor Company, to its downtown bus routes and recently held an inaugural launch event.

The city of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Valley Water District's Springs Preserve have already been participating in municipal hydrogen pilot programmes, with the Springs Preserve hydrogen filling station making its own hydrogen from water and generating electricity from the station's solar panels.

The buses, Ford E-450 models with 6.8 litre V10 hydrogen-fueled engines, will be part of the City Ride programme and offer express rides between the city's downtown area and the Las Vegas Premium Outlets shopping district.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid said in a statement, $quot;First, they will encourage people to use the public transportation downtown. Second, they rely on clean energy that won't pollute our air. I am proud to see the city of Las Vegas taking even more steps to reduce Nevada's reliance on oil.$quot;

Las Vegas already has some trucks in its city fleet that were combustion engine vehicles converted to run on hydrogen fuel, though these are the first that will be frequented by tourists and regular citizens and are being leased for 2 years from Ford for $500,000, paid for by a US Department of Energy grant.