The National Transport Authority (NTA) of Ireland has commenced the procurement process for up to 800 battery-electric double-decker buses. They will be sourced through a five-year single supplier framework agreement.

The first are expected to arrive in the second half of 2022. NTA says that they are intended for use on urban services “in all major cities in Ireland,” as well as on some town services. The contract notice requires a minimum usable battery capacity of 300kW/h and a CCS2 charging connection. Batteries must be able to be charged from a 150kW power supply as a minimum.

Other parts of the requirements are a minimum of 41 seats in the upper saloon and no less than 19 on the lower deck, not including tip-up positions. Overall passenger capacity including standees is no less than 75. The length must not exceed 11.5m. NTA requires a two-door layout and separate buggy and wheelchair user spaces.

Procurement of the battery-electric buses is part of a continued effort to transition to low- and zero-emission buses through Project Ireland 2040 and the Climate Action plan.

NTA recently ordered a further 180 Alexander Dennis (ADL) Enviro400ERs concurrent with the delivery of the first of an initial batch of 100 of those buses. They are diesel-electric hybrids with an extended engine-off range of at least 2.5km, according to the manufacturer. These orders are part of a five-year framework agreement with ADL that will see NTA take up to 600 Enviro400ERs.

Says NTA Chief Executive Officer Anne Graham of the plans to buy zero-emission buses: “The transition to a zero-emission bus fleet is a central component of our BusConnects project. The procurement of these battery-electric buses represents a key milestone in that process.

“By providing more accessible and sustainable methods of public transport, we will reduce the need for personal vehicles, making the quality of the air we breathe healthier for everyone.”