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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Wrightbus pushes forward on front foot as zero-emission bus trials on Dorset Coast

Blue wrightbus vehicle built in Ballymena

A battery-electric bus manufactured by Wrightbus is being trialled in Dorset to demonstrate its zero-emission capabilities. 

Bus operator Morebus, which is part of the Go-Ahead Group, is running the rule over the rapid-charge double deck StreetDeck Electroliner - the first ever EV built by Northern Ireland-based firm.

The trial is taking place over the next couple of weeks and the bus will operate along the Purbeck Breezer 40 and 50 routes in the south of England, covering places such as Bournemouth and Poole.

One of the key priorities for the operator is to ensure the bus is able to board the Sandbanks Ferry - which is a much-loved element of the Purbeck Breezer 50 route. 

The bus was launched in 2021 and specialises in maximising power and offering class-leading recharge times.

The vehicle has been on a UK-wide tour over the last few years to give bus operators and local authorities the chance to see it in action and showcase its capabilities.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, said:

"Buses play a vital role in keeping our towns and cities moving, and we are committed to helping transport operators address environmental challenges.

“We are excited to see our zero-emission bus in operation to show everyone what it is capable of and I am sure passengers will enjoy the experience.

“The trial is further evidence of the leading role we are playing on the global stage in tackling climate change through sustainable transport.”

Richard Wade, Morebus general manager, added:

“We are delighted to be trialling a Wrightbus Electroliner on our Purbeck Breezer 40 and 50 services over the coming weeks.

“This follows the bid we recently submitted for funding that would allow us to introduce a new fleet of 10 zero emission buses to service these popular routes. 

“The funding is part of the next phase of the Department for Transport’s ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas) scheme, and we are testing the electric vehicle in anticipation of a successful bid.

“One of our priorities is to ensure this style of bus is able to board the Sandbanks Ferry. The ramp on the ferry is fairly steep, so we’ll be at the ferry terminal to make sure everything runs smoothly before we can commit to running the bus along this route in the event that we are able to bring the new electric buses to Dorset.

“The bus will be with us for three weeks - giving us a great opportunity to also put it through its paces in service along our Purbeck Breezer 40 route. We hope our customers enjoy travelling on it.” 

Founded in 1946, Wrightbus has been at the forefront of public transport for more than 75 years and is still based in the heart of Ballymena, Northern Ireland.

It has also been at the forefront of the movement to decarbonise public transport across the UK and Ireland with its world-first hydrogen double deck, the StreetDeck Hydroliner, alongside the Electroliner.

It is the only manufacturer in Europe to offer a complete suite of zero-emission buses, with both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell single and double decks. 

2024 has been hugely successful so far for Wrightbus following a string of new orders including 87 for Arriva which will be operated in London. 


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