Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA), in conjunction with Bus Éireann, has unveiled three new Wrightbus hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck vehicles, which will initially be used on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area.
The three models were recently purchased by the NTA and will go into service on Bus Éireann’s route 105X, which runs between Dublin and Ratoath, County Meath.
The buses will be subject to in-service evaluation as part of an alternative fuels technology pilot being undertaken by the NTA in collaboration with Bus Éireann.
The vehicles represent an investment by the State, of around EUR2.4m (US$2.8m). The Wrightbus Streetdeck H2 FCEV is assembled at its factory in Galgorm, on the outskirts of Ballymena in Northern Ireland.
“This launch marks a true all-Ireland sustainability solution that will help us reach the ambitious Net Zero targets that we must all strive towards,” said Wrightbus MD, Neil Collins.
“We’re incredibly proud zero-emission hydrogen buses made by Wrightbus here in Ireland, powered by energy produced in Ireland, will soon be in service for passengers in Dublin.
“It’s not only fantastic from an environmental point of view, but from a wider perspective, it signals a huge opportunity for positive economic growth across the island of Ireland. Our world-first double deck hydrogen buses and our recently launched EV counterparts – along with the clean fuels that power them – utilise the very latest technological advances.
“This in turn gives scope for the creation of hundreds – if not thousands – of new highly-skilled jobs across that will put the island of Ireland at the fore of the sustainable transport revolution.”
For his part, Ireland Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, added: “Reducing carbon emissions from transport is critical to reaching our climate goals and will also improve air quality for all.
“Other technologies such as battery-electric, are very well suited to bus services in urban areas, but on longer commuter and inter-urban routes, hydrogen fuel cell technology is an innovative zero pipe emission alternative to diesel.
“I’m especially pleased the Wrightbus Streetdeck, which is the first such bus in the world, is assembled in Northern Ireland and that Bus Eireann are piloting these buses on their commuter route between Dublin to Ratoath.”