The first three hydrogen fuel cell-electric Wrightbus StreetDeck FCEV double-decker buses have been delivered to Translink in Belfast.
The buses are part of an overall capital investment of around £4m. They will be powered by renewable hydrogen that is generated by electrolysis at an onshore windfarm in North Antrim that is owned by Energia Group.
Translink and Energia formed a consortium that has received part funding for the buses from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles. The remainder has come from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI). The project will also deliver the first hydrogen refuelling station on the island of Ireland.
The hydrogen fuel cell-electric buses will be used on Metro services across Belfast, says DfI. They precede 100 further zero-emission buses for Translink, 20 of which will be hydrogen fuel cell-electric powered. All of those, and 45 diesel models, will be built by Wrightbus as part of a £66m deal announced in early December.
Wrightbus Chairman Jo Bamford says the three StreetDeck FCEVs 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.”
He adds: “We are delighted that Translink and the Northern Ireland Executive have backed not only this initiative in Belfast, but have also made a wider investment in public transport by agreeing to introduce 100 zero-emission buses on streets across Northern Ireland.”
Picture: From left to right, Wrightbus Chief Executive Buta Atwal, Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway, Energia Group Chief Executive Ian Thom and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.