The electric bus building partnership BYD ADL has announced that it has signed a framework agreement with the National Transport Authority of Ireland (NTA). The deal includes an option for up to 200 battery-electric buses, while a firm order for 45 of them has also been agreed.
The battery-electric buses, delivery of which will begin in 2022, will be the first buses of type Enviro200EV to run in the Dublin and Athlone areas. The search for electric buses is part of NTA’s push to replace most of the fleet with zero-emission models.
The single supplier framework agreement with the NTA through Transport for Ireland will run for up to five years and covers the delivery of single deck battery-electric buses. BYD ADL emphasised that it was selected in a “comprehensive and rigorous procurement process,” in which it provided the strongest bid.
The process also required BYD ADL to adapt its single-deck model to the specific needs of the NTA and its operators. The company says this has resulted in a vehicle that will be twelve metres long with several configurations suiting different operational requirements, including a version with two doorways, wheelchair space and a dedicated area to accommodate at least one unfolded pram.
All electric buses on order will be built at ADL’s factories in the UK, with BYD delivering electric technology and batteries and ADL adapting the bodywork and interior as usual.
“Over the next five years, we are planning a major increase in the number of low- and zero-emission urban buses in operation on the Transport For Ireland (TFI) network across the country,” said Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority.
When commenting on the 45 e-buses on order from BYD ADL, Graham added she was looking forward to working with bus operator partners and ADL to ensure that the first of these buses are delivered and ready to operate in 2022.
The buses will be the first of type Enviro200EV to run in the Dublin and Athlone areas.
BYD UK Managing Director Frank Thorpe further called the commitment “one of the most significant commitments to eMobility” BYD ADL had ever seen. He added it was the partnership that appears increasingly to be the preferred choice for Local Authorities and public transport operators. The partnership recently supplied four zero-emission double-decker buses to Lothian Buses in Edinburgh.
For context, Ireland’s national transport authority NTA opened an ongoing tender in December last year, for up to 800 all-electric double-decker buses for use in the country’s large cities, as well as on some town bus services.
All tenders are part of the Project Ireland 2040 initiative and the Irish government’s Climate Action Plan. ‘Project Ireland 2040’ outlines the country’s move to a low carbon economy bolstered with 116 billion euros. 22bn euros have been earmarked for climate protection measures, including electric transport initiatives.