Northern Ireland’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses have entered service.
Built by Wrightbus, the three buses will emit only water and will be powered by green renewable wind energy.
Representing an investment of around £4m, Northern Ireland’s public transport operator Translink formed a consortium with Energia Group to successfully bid for part funding from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
The buses will be operated on the Metro line in Belfast.
“The entry into service of the three new hydrogen powered buses, funded by my Department and OZEV, is another exciting milestone in our move towards a zero-emission public transport fleet,” said Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.
“This is just the beginning and I am committed to delivering cleaner, greener transport for the benefit of our environment and our communities right across Ireland.”
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean added, “As we look to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, the whole transport sector will need to embrace new innovative technology such as green hydrogen and this project is a fantastic example of doing just that.”
“I’m proud to see the UK leading the way when it comes to the global transition to zero-emission vehicles. In the next decade, we’ll continue to be at the forefront of the design, manufacture and use of them too as we strive towards our net-zero goals.”
Wrightbus Chairman Jo Bamford commented, “We are incredibly proud to supply the first-ever hydrogen-powered double decker buses in Ireland, and we’re just as proud to be building them locally in Ballymena.”
“These world-leading fuel cell electric vehicles are a major step to improving air quality and meeting Northern Ireland’s net zero commitment, as well as helping to revolutionise its public transport system and boosting the local economy.”
“We’re delighted that Translink and the Northern Ireland Executive have backed not only this initiative in Belfast, but have also made a wider investment into public transport by agreeing to introduce 100 zero emission buses on the streets across Northern Ireland.”
“It’s proof that Northern Ireland is pushing to be at the forefront of the world stage when it comes to pioneering zero emission solutions.”
GenComm Programme Manager Paul Mc Cormack today welcomed the first hydrogen powered buses entering service in Northern Ireland, commenting, “Today is a momentous day for those of us who have been on this hydrogen journey for some time now. The fact the three double decker buses are set to enter service locally is excellent news.”
“Our GenComm project aims to address the energy sustainability challenges of North West Europe by validating hydrogen technologies. Translink working with our GenComm partner Energia ably supported by funding from the Department for Infrastructure have helped bring about this day at Stormont.”