Ballymena's Wrightbus lands significant order for hydrogen-powered buses from Germany
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German-based bus operator West Verkehr has ordered a fleet of 12 Kite Hydroliners after a Europe-wide tender process. The buses will be rolled out across the town of Geilenkirchen.
The order is a significant one for Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus as it continues to break into the global sustainable transport market.
Last year, Wrightbus signed a deal with German Bus operator Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK) to supply up to 60 Kite Hydroliner single deck buses.
The new buses will be manufactured at Wrightbus’s headquarters in Ballymena, supporting hundreds of new high-skilled jobs to help level up and grow the economy.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Wrightbus, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with West Verkehr to put more zero-emission hydrogen buses on the streets of Germany. For Wrightbus, hydrogen represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get ahead in the large-scale manufacturing of a technology that will be in demand across the world.
“This is another significant deal for us and is further evidence of the leading role we are playing on the global stage in tackling climate change through sustainable transport.
“The introduction of the new Kite Hydroliner will help to prevent even more carbon from being released and it’s fantastic to see West Verkehr taking this vital and progressive step to decarbonise public transport. This order is further recognition of Wrightbus as a leader in the sector, which is hugely gratifying and a testament to the reputation we have built up.”
Wrightbus is behind the world’s first hydrogen double deck, the StreetDeck Hydroliner, as well as the world’s most efficient battery electric double deck, the StreetDeck Electrolier. It is the only manufacturer in Europe to offer a complete suite of zero-emission buses, with both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell single and double decks.
Udo Winkens, managing director of West Verkehr, added: "With the purchase of the 12 hydrogen-powered vehicles, we are taking an important step towards converting the West's bus fleet to emission-free drives.
“We were able to convince ourselves on site that we have found an innovative and powerful partner in Wrightbus."