Wrightbus strikes Aussie fuel cell deal

Wrightbus, through its partnership with Australian bus body manufacturer Volgren, will provide bus operator Transdev with its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology and chassis for the manufacture of two zero-emission hydrogen buses.

Queensland Deputy Premier Dr Steven Miles announced a $1.5 million commitment for the buses under the State Government’s Hydrogen Industry Development Fund.

Transdev will match the $1.5m investment to purchase the two hydrogen fuel cell buses to service the eastern suburbs of Brisbane. Joerg Hofmann, Wrightbus Chief Executive, said: “We are immensely proud of our partnership with Volgren to supply our hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology for the manufacture of two hydrogen buses for Australian bus operator, Transdev.

“This is an extremely exciting development for sustainable public transport in Australia. We know from our vast expertise and experience the significant part hydrogen can play in the decarbonisation of public transport and we believe the scope for uptake across the Australian market is huge as the country makes the vital switch to zero-emission vehicles.

“Our hydrogen technology has a number of advantages – our Wrightbus Hydroliner bus has a 300 mile range, takes eight minutes to refuel and journeys are zero-emission due to it emitting only water vapour.”

Transdev Queensland Managing Director Mark McKenzie said he was proud of securing the funding and the Government’s commitment to growing the hydrogen industry and its opportunities: “The State Government has already backed zero emission vehicles and now we look forward to what hydrogen has to offer,” Mr McKenzie said.

“Transdev is not only investing in the buses but also working with suppliers in building the necessary hydrogen supply infrastructure at our depot and the upskilling of our staff. The buses will be built by Volgren using a Wrightbus Hydrogen chassis and we look forward to testing these buses on city roads, providing valuable data to Translink and the Queensland Government about their performance.

“Our local Brisbane team is also excited to grow our own local hydrogen expertise using the experience of our global Transdev teams in running zero emission fleets right around the world.”

Yuri Tessari, Volgren’s Chief Commercial Officer, said the buses would be one of the first hydrogen buses in Australia to be built locally, and the first to be powered using European chassis technology: “The partnership between Volgren and Wrightbus combines Europe’s leading hydrogen chassis manufacturer with Australia’s largest bus body builder. It’s an exciting time for both companies, working to create the best possible hydrogen bus for local conditions.”

Mr Tessari said that hydrogen buses should play an important impact on decarbonising Australia’s public transport system and was grateful for the early support shown from Transdev and the leadership from the Queensland Government towards zero-emission transport.

“Volgren has always been at the forefront of adopting new technologies and we’ll continue to invest in partnerships that accelerate Australia’s push towards zero-emission transport,” Yuri said

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