Belfast to roll out Ireland’s first hydrogen-powered double decker buses
Posted: 7 February 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The announcement was made by Translink, Energia Group and Wrightbus with support from the Department for Infrastructure and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Belfast is set to receive the first hydrogen-powered double decker buses in Ireland before the end of 2020, as the country looks to de-carbonise Northern Ireland’s public transport to zero emissions by 2040.
Translink has signed a contract with Energia Group for the supply of renewably-sourced hydrogen fuel from an on-shore North Antrim windfarm and a contract with Wrightbus who will supply three new sustainable fuel cell electric double-decker buses powered by hydrogen. The overall capital investment represents around £4 million. The pilot project will also deliver the first ever hydrogen refuelling station of its kind in Ireland.
Speaking at the contract signing, Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, said: “My role as Infrastructure Minister is to transform people’s lives, better connect communities across the island, ensure we have a thriving balanced economy and play our part in tackling the climate emergency. We cannot do that without changing how we as individuals travel and in government focusing on a low carbon future where we make low emission public transport accessible to people and communities across Northern Ireland.
“Along with other executive colleagues, I have a responsibility to this generation of young people and the next generation who will live with the consequences of the climate crisis. That means taking action now, being ambitious despite the challenges we face and working together across the government and private sector to drive the innovative solutions that will be needed. That is exactly what this exciting pilot does. It represents a significant first step to tackling the climate emergency we face and demonstrates how working together and as individuals we can play our part in delivering the ambitions of the Northern Ireland Executive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.”
Translink Group Chief Executive, Chris Conway, commented: “ This marks a major milestone in our efforts to transform public transport and reflects our climate commitment to reduce carbon emissions. This innovative collaboration will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also generate much wider environmental, economic and social benefits for Northern Ireland.
“The time for action is now and, with a record 84.5 million passenger journeys on Translink services last year, making public transport your first choice for travel is the single greatest way to reduce your personal carbon footprint and one of the most immediate.”