Wrightbus to supply 145 zero and low emission buses in Northern Ireland

The Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland has invested about £66 million in 145 new zero and low emission buses from Wrightbus as a key part of its drive to decarbonise public transport.

Wrightbus will supply 100 zero emission buses comprising 80 battery electric vehicles and 20 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and will be the most environmentally friendly buses in Ireland.  They will be deployed between Metro in Belfast and Foyle Metro services in Derry. There will also be 45 low emissions buses for Ulsterbus services across Northern Ireland. Wrightbus will also supply the associated infrastructure.

This investment forms a key part of Translink’s Net Zero Emissions Strategy. The first three hydrogen-powered double decker buses ordered earlier in the year are due to enter passenger service before the end of 2020. They will only emit water – no greenhouse gases or other pollutants – and are the first of their kind in Ireland. 

All the new buses are due to be in service during 2021/2022.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “Cleaner, greener, sustainable transport is key to protecting our environment and fighting the climate crisis. I have an ambitious vision for a low carbon future where we make low emission public transport accessible to people and communities across Northern Ireland. 

“I have been clear since coming to office that we must act now to deliver the change that our communities and our citizens deserve.

“[This investment] marks a very positive step forward that will create jobs, encourage investment, as well as being pivotal in cutting the level of emissions.

“As well as reducing pollution, the new vehicles will have additional safety features and improved comfort and accessibility, helping to grow passenger numbers, increase overall customer satisfaction and make public transport a more attractive and efficient alternative to private cars.”

Translink group chief executive Chris Conway added: “This bus order is just the start of an exciting new era for public transport in Northern Ireland as we work to build back responsibly following Covid-19. Investment in a new zero emission fleet is great news for everyone, helping tackle the global climate emergency we all face and improving local air quality. 

“We have ambitious targets to operate a zero-emission public transport fleet across Northern Ireland by 2040 and this development is an important first step.

“As we progress this critical journey to net zero emissions transport, we will work with all stakeholders collaboratively to harness a shift in attitudes and behaviours towards more sustainable transport for future generations.”

Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal said: “Investment in hydrogen, electric and low-emission buses, and the wider energy sector, can only be good for jobs in Northern Ireland. We have the climate and the technology to drive fundamental change here and position Northern Ireland as a world-leader. This order of 145 buses is a significant step and we are proud to work alongside Translink to achieve these goals.”

More Wrightbus news, features and offers

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

Latest articles