The Go-Ahead Group in the UK has signed a contract to buy its first hydrogen powered buses, as part of a deal which could become the largest of its kind in Europe.
It has ordered 20 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from Wrightbus, the Ballymena-based manufacturer, for deployment on the Fastway routes in the south-east of England.
The single-decker GB Kite Hydroliner buses will be delivered in June 2022 and will be the first hydrogen powered vehicles in Go-Ahead’s fleet of more than 6,000 buses.
The buses are part funded with money from UK Government and European Union zero-emission bus schemes.
Go-Ahead is pursuing a second tranche of a further 34 buses. If completed, this has the potential to be Europe’s biggest local fleet of hydrogen buses to date.
As well as having zero carbon emissions, hydrogen buses have long range capabilities and can be refuelled quickly in depots. Go-Ahead is already the UK’s largest operator of zero-emission electric buses, with a fleet of nearly 300 nationwide, but this is the group’s first venture into hydrogen.
In addition to being one of the UK’s largest bus operators, they also operate two bus contracts in Ireland.