Hydrogen buses take to the streets of Dublin in eight week trial

Posted: 11 November 2020 | | No comments yet

The trial has been launched by Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and will see the new zero-emission buses operate on various routes throughout the city.

Ireland launches first hydrogen bus

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan TD with one of Dublin's brand new Hydrogen buses. Credit: Department of Transport

Dublin is set to see its very first hydrogen-powered buses hit the streets this month, as trials begin across multiple routes in the city.

The trial has been launched through the Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) initiative, which includes stakeholders from both the transport industry itself as well as academics. The hydrogen fuel cell buses will be running on  different routes by CIÉ Group (the Republic of Ireland’s biggest transport provider), bus companies Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus, as well as by Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport over a number of weeks in November and December, albeit carrying limited passengers due to the current Covid restrictions.

The zero emissions Caetano ‘H2.CityGold’ pre-production bus will run on green hydrogen (H2) produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland Ltd using renewable electricity and water. 

According to HMI, the fuel cell electric bus can be refuelled in minutes, similar to a conventional bus and its electric power is obtained when the Hydrogen molecules from its fuel are combined with Oxygen molecules from the air in the fuel cell.

Commenting on the trial, Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “Moving our urban bus fleet to cleaner and greener technologies is essential if we are to further reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and limit air pollutant emissions in our cities.

“Under the National Development Plan, Ireland is committed to stop buying diesel-only urban buses and to transition to lower-emission alternatives.”

He also promised significant progress in the hydrogen bus scheme in the near future: “Today’s hugely significant step will be followed early next year by a National Transport Authority pilot programme, involving a number of Double Decker Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric buses. Examining all available technologies is essential as we determine how best to power our future urban bus fleets, while improving sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Mark Teevan, chair of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland, outlined the work that has gone into the landmark trial: “Hydrogen Mobility Ireland was formed last year by a group of activist companies that want to move forward with the introduction of fuel cell transport here.

“This eight-week trial marks the start of that new phase and we intend to launch the first hydrogen refuelling stations, and hydrogen powered vehicles for sale, during 2023. We see hydrogen fuel cell transport as being critical to delivering on the targets in the government’s 2019 Climate Action Plan and have, since the beginning, been working closely with the Department of Transport and other government stakeholders on its introduction.”

The Irish Government says that the results of the trial will form part of the decision making process when it comes to transitioning the public transport fleet to more sustainable fuels and technologies.

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