Ireland launches huge tender for electric double-deckers
Ireland’s national transport authority NTA published a tender 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. Buying is to start in the second half of 2022 over a period of five years.
The NTA summarizes the minimum requirements such as a battery capacity of at least 300 kWh and charging power of at least 150 kW in the tender. The minimum number of seats must be 41 on the upper deck and 19 on the lower deck. The standing-room included, the e-buses should carry at least 75 people.
That sounds easy enough for a double-decker but here is the trickier part, the NTA adds that the double-deckers’ length must not exceed 11.5 metres. The NTA also states it was looking for a single supplier, but it is unclear, whether the tender requests charging infrastructure. It is also unclear how much the NTA is ready to spend.
Bus builders must submit their bids by 12 February 2021.
If successful, the NTA “suppliers framework-agreement” will cover up to 800 electric buses which fulfil the above requirements. Delivery is expected to start in the second half of 2022 over a period of five years. All buses will feature the green, yellow and white Transport for Ireland design.
The Transport Authority had already published a similar invitation to tender in July 2019 to procurement up to 600 hybrid double-decker buses. The contract was awarded to Scottish bus builder Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) in early February 2020 as reported. The first hybrids arrived in Dublin these days. Given ADL’s partnership with BYD is one of the very few to offer electric double-deckers at all, we dare to make a bet that they have a realistic chance to make it into the finale for this tender too.
Anne Graham, chief executive officer of the NTA, said the transition to a zero-emission bus fleet was a central component of the BusConnects project. Both tenders are part of the Project Ireland 2040 initiative and the Irish government’s Climate Action Plan.