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Dublin launches tests with its first electric double-deckers

In June last year, Ireland’s “National Transport Authority (NTA)” ordered 120 double-deckers of the type “Streetdeck Electroliner”, which are battery-electric powered, from the Northern Irish manufacturer Wrightbus for use in the city transport of the Irish capital Dublin (“Dublin Bus”). 100 are for use by Dublin Bus on routes in the greater Dublin area and 20 for use by Bus Éireann in the greater Limerick area. A second order for a further 91 cars followed last December. And just recently, another 210 such buses were ordered from Wrightbus, so that Dublin will have 421 electric double-deckers within the next two years. Or, in other words, within just 24 months a third of Dublin’s bus fleet will have been converted to zero-emission vehicles.

The first nine vehicles of the original order have now arrived in the Irish capital. They are the first electric buses ever in Dublin. And now they are going into operational testing, training drivers and exploring where they will be used.

At the handover, Anne Graham, Chief Executive of the NTA (National Transport Authority) said: “People expect us to provide better and more sustainable public transport. We at the NTA want to play our part in that, more than that, we want to lead by example.”

Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s Transport Minister, was impressed by how quiet and comfortable the new electric double-deckers are on the road. And Billy Hann, chief executive of Dublin Buses, said: “We are delighted to take this opportunity to lead Dublin’s public transport into a new and environmentally friendly future.”

The “Streetdeck Electroliner” can carry 96 passengers. Its axles come from ZF in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance: Wrightbus uses the RL 82 EC as the front axle, and the AVE 133 low-floor portal axle as the drive axle. The batteries come from the French manufacturer Forsee Power, and can have an output of either 340 kWh or 455 kWh. They are charged via cable and CCS combo plug at the charging stations that “Dublin Buses” had already installed for its hybrid buses. Charging is done with 150 kW, with a battery capacity of 340 kWh it takes 2.5 hours, with the larger capacity three hours.