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Northern Ireland’s First Hydrogen Powered Buses Unveiled at Stormont Estate in East Belfast

January 2021 - The East Side Advertiser

Pictured at Stormont ahead of the buses entering service on Belfast Metro routes are Buta Atwal Chief Executive Wrightbus, Chris Conway Translink Group Chief Executive, Ian Thom Chief executive Energia Group, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and P6 Pupils from Belfast’s Cranmore Integrated Primary and Nursery School.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon and Transport Minister Rachel Maclean have welcomed the first hydrogen powered double-decker buses entering service across East Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland. 

The arrival of the three new Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses is the culmination of an exciting zero emissions bus pilot project powered by “Green” renewably produced Hydrogen. The buses, emit only water and will be 100% powered by green renewable wind energy, responding to the global climate emergency by reducing air pollution and protecting public health.   

Translink together with the Energia Group formed a consortium which successfully bid for part funding from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) with the remainder of funding from the Department for Infrastructure.  The overall capital investment represents around £4 million. 

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I am delighted to see these new buses enter service.  They will be transformative for communities here as we seek to deliver more sustainable low carbon public transport. 

“I have been clear that tackling the climate crisis is a priority for me and I am committed to a building a better future where we make zero/low emission public transport accessible to communities across the North. My Department recently allocated funding of almost £66million for the purchase of 145 zero and low emission buses that will enter the Translink fleet during 2021/22. 

“The entry into service of the three new Hydrogen powered buses, funded by my Department and OZEV, is another exciting milestone in our move towards a zero-emission public transport fleet. This is just the beginning and I am committed to delivering cleaner, greener transport for the benefit of our environment and our communities right across Ireland.” 

Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive, Translink said:  “This is great news for our customers and the wider public as we make real progress to tackle the climate emergency, enhance air quality for health and wellbeing and reduce traffic congestion.   

 “We’re committed to leading a transport transformation in Northern Ireland, driving change to zero emissions and engaging across all industry sectors to learn from best practice in low carbon innovation and bus manufacturing.   

“This is the result of a successful collaboration and we’d like to thank all our partners for vital investment, expertise and innovation to deliver this project. Locally, 35% of all energy is expended on transport and, as this demonstrates, we believe modal shift from car to sustainable transport can be accelerated with the right investment.  

“We now look forward to achieving further important milestones on our journey to Net Zero Emissions public transport and securing a brighter future for generations to come.” 

The three new Hydrogen fuel cell electric buses will operate on Translink Metro services across Belfast.   


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