BUS Éireann has signed a €3 million contract for the first phase of adapting its Roxboro depot for the delivery of 20 double-deck electric buses to operate its Limerick City routes.
Limerick will be the first of Ireland’s regional cities to introduce fully electric vehicles. Combined with the 20 hybrid vehicles already in operation, the Limerick City fleet will be either zero or low tailpipe emissions from early 2024.
The €3 million contract will see Hitachi Energy Ireland deliver an MV electricity substation, install 24 charge points, carry out all civil and cabling works along with the commissioning of the charging infrastructure.
Bus Éireann carries around 4.5 million passengers on its seven Limerick city routes each year. These are public service obligation routes, operated under contract to the National Transport Authority.
Bus Éireann chief executive Stephen Kent it has been just over three months since the Athlone town bus service became fully electric and the project has been very successful to date with 100,000 kilometres operated safely and without incident.
“Passenger numbers are at record levels, 77 tonnes of carbon emissions have been avoided and at this early stage, it appears that the range being achieved is up to 20 per cent better than expectations,” he explained.
“Our experience from Athlone has only increased our enthusiasm for the transformation of our urban operations to battery electric vehicles and we are very pleased to partner with Hitachi in the delivery of this project.
“The electrification of the depot at Roxboro will change public transport in Limerick for the better, in terms of environmental impact and also a greatly enhanced customer experience with quieter, smoother journeys.
“Combined with the BusConnects project and investment in a new bus station, Limerick City will be in the forefront of bus public transport developments this year,” Mr Kent concluded.