Wrightbus could deliver 150 H2 buses to transport construction workers

Northern Ireland’s bus manufacturer Wrightbus has signed a deal with Sizewell C, the company responsible for building Britain’s next nuclear power station. If the pilot succeeds, the contract could see 150 hydrogen buses operate on-site in Suffolk.

Sizewell C will test four Hydroliners from Wrightbus to see whether they could be used during the construction of the new nuclear power station. Sizewell C is a project to construct a 3,200 MWe nuclear power station with two EPR reactors in England.

The Streetdeck Hydroliners pilot scheme is to determine whether the buses could transport thousands of workers to and from the construction site near Leiston, Suffolk.

If the pilot is successful, Sizewell C will order up to 150 buses, making it one of the largest hydrogen bus fleets in the world and among the to be based in Suffolk.

There are no specifics about the fuel cell buses. Still, Wrightbus usually equips the Hydroliner vehicles with Ballard fuel cells with 70 or 100 kW and a small supplementary battery with 30 or 45 kWh on board. In the most potent version, the bus can travel 650 miles (1,050 kilometres).

Wrightbus agreed to deliver the fuel cell buses in early 2024 in line with the start of construction at the Sizewell C site. Construction will take nine to twelve years, depending on developments at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Wrightbus, said: “The fact that it (the pilot) could lead to a fleet of up to 150 hydrogen buses is testament to the potential hydrogen has for both passenger transport and construction sites in general.”

The project is part of a consortium led by Wrightbus’s sister company Ryze, which has just been awarded more than £3m of Government funding to test a mobile hydrogen refuelling system. If successful, this technology could eventually reduce the need to use fossil fuels in machinery and equipment, Wrightbus suggests.



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