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€2.4M State investment sees Ballymena built buses enter service on the streets of Dublin

The Wrightbus Streetdeck H2 FCEV is the world’s first hydrogen double-deck bus.

Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Bus Éireann has today unveiled three new hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck buses, built by Wrightbus, that will initially be used on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area. Representing an investment by the Irish state of approximately €2.4m, the Streetdeck H2 FCEV is the world’s first hydrogen double-deck bus, manufactured and assembled by Wrightbus, at their factory in Galgorm, on the outskirts of Ballymena.

Each bus can accommodate up to 79 passengers within its overall length of 11.5 metres.

Accessibility is a priority in the design of the new buses, which feature:

  • Priority seats upholstered in distinctive, high contrast moquette

  • A large permanent wheelchair space

  • A separate, dedicated buggy space

  • Wider access passages

  • A powered wheelchair ramp at the front doorway

  • An additional passenger information display within the wheelchair space

  • High definition exterior destination displays

  • The high visibility yellow, green and white Transport For Ireland livery

With the news today that the Ballymena-built zero emission hydrogen double decker Wrightbus vehicles will be carrying passengers on the streets of Dublin as soon as next week, the firm's new Managing Director, Neil Collins, said he couldn't be prouder.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Collins said:

"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.

“We're incredibly proud that 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, thanks to the progressive outlook of Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority.

"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."

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan today joined the Anne Graham (Chief Executive, National Transport Authority), and Stephen Kent (Chief Executive Officer, Bus Éireann), to unveil three new hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck buses that will initially be used on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said:

“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 that 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.”

Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive Officer said:

“As these new hydrogen buses go into operation with Bus Éireann, we are setting out on a journey towards a zero emission public transport fleet.

“Procuring these three buses and putting them into service gives us an opportunity to pilot hydrogen-fuel-cell technology in daily public transport operations in Ireland and to assess the part it can play in the long term transition to a zero emission bus fleet.

“Thanks to Luas and DART, already almost a quarter of all public transport journeys on the Transport For Ireland network are on zero emission vehicles, and the NTA is committed to an accelerated transition to a more sustainable bus fleet.

“These buses are just one part of the overall approach, and hydrogen is just one of the technologies that we are looking to in the drive to make public transport more sustainable. Alongside these buses, we are also about to order 45 battery single-deck battery-electric buses for use in urban areas, with another 150 or so to come.

“And in the next month or so, we will be ordering the first 120 battery electric double-deck buses for use in the large cities, with another 680 to follow in the coming years.

“The NTA and the public transport operators are stepping up to the climate challenge.”

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.