NTA announces historic agreement for 800 battery-electric buses

Posted: 14 June 2022 | | No comments yet

With the first 120 buses expected to enter passenger service in 2023, NTA will gradually procure and deploy the remaining battery-electric buses across Ireland over a period of five years.

NTA electric buses

Credit: Transport for Ireland

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has announced that it has placed an order for 120 double-deck battery-electric buses as part of a framework agreement which provides for the procurement of up to 800 zero-emission battery-electric buses over a period of five years.

The buses will be manufactured and assembled at the Wrightbus facility in Galgorm, on the outskirts of Ballymena in Northern Ireland.

The framework agreement has the potential to be the single biggest bus procurement in the history of the state and will provide the first battery-electric double-deck buses to be added to the national bus fleet in Ireland. The addition of the new buses will deliver a significant uplift in the proportion of low- or zero-emission buses within that fleet.

This historic deal is a major component of the overall strategy to build a sustainable future by decarbonising the country’s public service obligation (PSO) public transport fleet, and is in line with a number of key national policy directives.

As they incorporate a fully battery-electric powertrain, the buses will operate with zero tailpipe-emissions, which will contribute to a substantial improvement in air quality in the cities and towns in which they are deployed.

Of the 120 buses currently on order, 100 are designated for use by Dublin Bus on PSO bus services within the Dublin Metropolitan Area and 20 are destined for use by Bus Éireann for use in the Limerick Metropolitan Area. This initial order for 120 buses represents an investment of some €80.4m

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Buses from future orders may also be used to operate PSO bus services in other parts of Ireland, including the metropolitan areas of Cork, Galway and Waterford.

Commissioning and training activities will get under way in late 2022, as will work on installing the necessary charging infrastructure, with the first buses expected to enter passenger service in 2023.

Seating up to 65 passengers, the new buses include a permanent wheelchair space, a dedicated area for the accommodation of a pram, prominent and distinctive priority seating, high-definition real-time passenger information displays, USB charging sockets and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said: “Going electric will reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport fleet, and will help us reach our long-term climate goals, as outlined in the Climate Action Plan. These new electric buses will also help reduce air pollution, improve public health and improve access to public transport for people of all abilities.”

“The transition to a zero-emission bus fleet is a central component of our BusConnects project, and the procurement of these battery-electric buses represents a key milestone in that process,” said CEO of NTA, Anne Graham. “When it comes to taking climate action, we in the NTA want to play our part and we want to lead by example. We are doing that by transitioning our public transport fleet away from fossil fuel to zero emission technologies and as you see today we are making real progress. This process is already under way, and when complete in 2035 will result public transport emissions being massively reduced.”