Bus Éireann Trials Hydrogen Buses

14 Jul 2021 | 08.13 am

Bus Éireann Trials Hydrogen Buses

Bus Éireann’s Wrightbus Streetdeck is made in Ballymena

14 Jul 2021 | 08.13 am

Bus Éireann is to try out Ireland’s first hydrogen-powered buses on a Dublin area commuter route.

The three hydrogen-fuel-cell double deckers will go into service on Bus Éireann’s route 105X, which runs between Dublin and Ratoath in Co Meath, where they will be subject to in-service evaluation as part of an alternative fuels technology pilot by the National Transport Authority in collaboration with the transport company.

The Wrightbus Streetdeck H2 FCEV (pictured) is manufactured by Bamford Bus Company, and assembled at their factory in Galgorm on the outskirts of Ballymena. Each bus can accommodate up to 79 passengers.

Transport minister Eamon Ryan said: “Reducing carbon emissions from transport is critical to reaching our climate goals and will also improve air quality for all.

“Other technologies, such as battery-electric, are very well suited to bus services in urban areas, but on longer commuter and inter-urban routes hydrogen fuel cell technology is an innovative, zero-emission alternative to diesel.

“I’m especially pleased that the Wrightbus Streetdeck, which is the first such bus in the world, is assembled in Northern Ireland.”

NTA chief executive Anne Graham added: “Thanks to Luas and DART, already almost a quarter of all public transport journeys on the Transport For Ireland network are on zero emission vehicles, and the NTA is committed to an accelerated transition to a more sustainable bus fleet.

“These buses are just one part of the overall approach, and hydrogen is just one of the technologies that we are looking to in the drive to make public transport more sustainable. Alongside these buses, we are also about to order 45 battery single-deck battery-electric buses for use in urban areas, with another 150 or so to come.

“And in the next month or so, we will be ordering the first 120 battery electric double-deck buses for use in the large cities, with another 680 to follow in the coming years.”

Hydrogen fuel cell electric buses are similar to battery-electric buses, the primary difference being the addition of an on-board fuel cell and hydrogen storage tanks. A chemical reaction in the fuel cell converts hydrogen and oxygen from the air into electricity and water vapour.

The electricity is stored in on-board batteries and propels the bus using electric traction motors, while the water vapour is expelled. When braking, energy is recovered to top up the batteries.

Other routes on the M2/N2 corridor which will see the Streetdeck on trial include routes 103, 105, and 103X.

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