The electric bus building partnership BYD ADL announces 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 e-buses was agreed at the same time.
Delivery is to commence in 2022, with the first buses of type Enviro200EV slated to run in the Dublin and Athlone areas. 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 further stresses it was selected in a “comprehensive and rigorous procurement process” in which it provided the strongest bid.
It 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.
The search for electric buses is part of NTA’s push to replace most of the fleet with zero-emission models. Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority, said: “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.” 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.
BYD UK Managing Director Frank Thorpe further called the commitment “one of the most significant commitments to eMobility” BYD ADL had ever seen and added it was the partnership that appears increasingly to be the preferred choice for Local Authorities and public transport operators.
This may also be seen in the light of an ongoing tender opened last year. It saw the NTA call for 800 electric double-deckers – only their length must not exceed 11.5 metres, and we presumed BYD ADL were bidding.
The Transport Authority had already published a similar invitation to tender in July 2019 to procure 600 hybrid double-decker buses and had awarded the contract to BYD ADL as reported.
Anne Graham, chief executive officer of the NTA, said at the time, the transition to a zero-emission bus fleet was a central component of the BusConnects project. In addition, all tenders are part of the Project Ireland 2040 initiative and the Irish government’s Climate Action Plan.