The National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Bus Éireann has today unveiled three new hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric double-deck buses that will initially be used on commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area.

The three vehicles were recently purchased by the NTA and will go into service next week on Bus Éireann’s route 105X, which runs between Dublin and Ratoath, County Meath.

“Procuring these three buses and putting them into service gives us an opportunity to pilot hydrogen-fuel-cell technology in daily public transport operations in Ireland and to assess the part it can play in the long term transition to a zero emission bus fleet,” said Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive Officer.

The buses will be subject to in-service evaluation as part of an alternative fuels technology pilot being undertaken by the NTA in collaboration with Bus Éireann.

“Bus Éireann is committed to the transition to a zero emission fleet and to our sustainability targets which include growing passenger journeys and offering a compelling alternative to private car travel,” said Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer, Bus Éireann.

The buses represent an investment by the state, of approximately €2.4m. The bus model in question – the Wrightbus Streetdeck H2 FCEV – is manufactured by Bamford Bus Company, and assembled at their factory in Galgorm, on the outskirts of Ballymena in Northern Ireland.

The Wrightbus Streetdeck H2 FCEV is the world’s first hydrogen double-deck bus. Each bus can accommodate up to 79 passengers within its overall length of 11.5 metres.

“We are delighted to get Ireland’s first hydrogen fuelled buses on the road and into public service next week,” added Kent.

Hydrogen for the buses will initially be supplied by BOC Gases Ireland, with refueling being effected at its Bluebell facility on the Naas Road in Dublin.

Maintenance of the buses will initially be undertaken by Municipal and Utilities Truck Equipment Company (MUTEC), on behalf of Bamford Bus Company, at their facility on the Longmile Road in Dublin.