Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Wrightbus helps Irish city to become one of the first to deploy fully electric bus service

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Wrightbus helps Irish city to become one of the first to deploy fully electric bus service

Wrightbus helps Irish city to become one of the first to deploy fully electric bus service
April 23
10:00 2024
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Zero-emission technology from transport pioneer Wrightbus is playing a crucial role in the development of one of Ireland’s first fully-electric regional city bus services. Fifty-five of the firm’s rapid-charge double deck StreetDeck Electroliners are being rolled out across Limerick.

The battery-electric buses, which have been built at Wrightbus’s Ballymena headquarters in Northern Ireland, mean cleaner air and quieter streets for local people. Limerick’s bus service, operated by Ireland’s national bus company, Bus Éireann, is set to become one of Ireland’s first fully-electric regional city bus services as part of a €54 million investment by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

As part of the investment, the 55 buses will service more than 2.1 million emission-free kilometres across Limerick city service annually. Currently, 34 all-electric buses are in Limerick ahead of their introduction into service en-masse, with a further 21 of these buses expected to enter service in early 2025.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO at Wrightbus, said: “We are delighted to partner with the NTA in the drive to zero-emission public transport and to have played our part in helping it develop one of Ireland’s first fully-electric regional city bus services.

“We are at the forefront of zero-emission technology and have a tremendous reputation for our fleet, both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell buses. Our ambition is to see many more of our buses be rolled out across cities, towns and rural areas all over the world.”

The new service was officially launched by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD at Limerick’s Colbert Station. The investment builds on the success of Ireland’s first ever all-electric town bus service launched in Athlone in January 2023.

The buses will be charged using newly-installed charging infrastructure at Limerick’s Roxboro depot. In preparation for the new all-electric service, Bus Éireann drivers and mechanics have undergone a comprehensive training programme – more than 500 hours – on the driving, maintenance and operation of the new fleet.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA,  said: “These zero-emission vehicles will not only provide a smoother, more accessible journey for our customers, but will also significantly reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution in the areas they operate. This investment highlights the NTA’s dedication to creating a cleaner, greener and more efficient future for the people of Limerick.”

Stephen Kent, CEO of Bus Éireann, said: “Our mission is to help make life better and this transformative €54 investment in new zero-emission fleet, funded by the NTA, helps us reduce greenhouse gas emissions, providing a cleaner and greener public transport solution for everyone in Limerick city.”

Founded in 1946, Wrightbus has been at the forefront of public transport for more than 75 years and is still based in the heart of Ballymena, Northern Ireland. It has also been at the forefront of the movement to decarbonise public transport across the UK and Ireland with its world-first hydrogen double deck, the StreetDeck Hydroliner, alongside the Electroliner.

signage for an electric bus depot in foreground with double deck electric buses in the background

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