Bus manufacturer Wrightbus has revealed plans to double its output next year, increasing production of its zero-emission fleet to 70%.
The plans were announced during a visit to the Ballymena facility by Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan.
Givan, said: “I have been hugely impressed by the vision of Wrightbus in working towards decarbonising the transport sector and it has been of great benefit to meet with the company at their plant and learn more about their ambitious and innovative plans.
“As an executive, we are committed to tackling the climate crisis and our Green Growth Strategy for Northern Ireland sets out the long-term vision for tackling the climate crisis, creating green jobs and protecting our environment.”
Wrightbus’s zero-emissions options include the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus, the Streetdeck Hydroliner, along with the fastest-charging EV double decker on the market, the Electroliner.
Buta Atwal, chief executive of Wrightbus, added: “Next year, we will be producing around 600 buses – almost double the number we have produced in 2021 – which will go into service across the UK and the island of Ireland.
“We will also see a significant switch in our output from 70% diesel buses in 2021 to around 70% zero-emission buses in 2022. This is a fantastic endorsement of the UK government’s, and our customers’ commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly transport.”
The manufacturer added since the launch of the Streetdeck Hydroliner, it has prevented over one million kilograms (1,000 tonnes) of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions entering the atmosphere for the journeys made compared to the diesel powered version of the bus – the equivalent of taking more than 230 cars off the roads for a whole year.