Twenty Northern Ireland-built zero-emission hydrogen buses for London

Hydrogen double decker buses will be introduced on three busy London bus routes next year in what Transport for London (TfL) says is a world first.

TfL has ordered 20 of the buses, which produce no harmful tailpipe emissions, as part of its drive to make London transport zero-emission and improve air quality.

It follows the introduction of the new central ‘London Ultra Low Emission Zone’ last month.

The environment-friendly vehicles will be introduced on routes 245, 7 and N7, with people traveling to Wembley Stadium, or from west London to the West End, able to hop on the new green buses for a smoother and quieter journey. The new, modern buses will also enhance the customer experience, with on-board USB charging points making bus travel even more attractive.

TfL is investing £12m in the new buses and the fuelling infrastructure. Wrightbus in Ballymena will manufacture them, creating new jobs in the region. More than £5 million of funding is being provided by European bodies and £1 million from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles.

To encourage the take-up of this trailblazing technology in other cities in the UK and Europe, TfL is leading procurement within the ‘Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe’ (JIVE) project. JIVE aims to bring down the cost of the vehicles by buying in bulk with other authorities – helping put the price per bus on a par with the other cleanest fuels.

With the Green drive evident from the recent Irish local and European elections, perhaps the Irish government should get involved in the JIVE Project as a matter of urgency.