Bus Éireann is to spend €30 million installing electric chargers for buses in regional towns and cities.
As the Irish Examiner reports, the transport body is seeking to assemble a panel of companies for the supply, installation, and maintenance of specialised electric vehicle chargers for buses by the year 2035.
At present, the state-owned company operates 11 EVs in Athlone, Co Westmeath, forming the entirety of the town’s service, and three hydrogen-fuelled vehicles on Dublin’s commuter routes.
Separately, the company’s Galway services consist entirely of hybrid buses, with 20 further hybrid vehicles operating in Limerick ahead of a €3 million plan to fully electrify that city’s depot in advance of the delivery of 20 double-decker electric buses for the city’s routes.
Athlone’s service is run at present from nine double electric chargers at the town’s depot, with a further 12 such chargers in place in Limerick.
It is unclear how many chargers the €30 million tender budget will provide.
“We are currently at the planning stage for the electrification of our other depots and the total number of chargers in each site has yet to be determined,” a Bus Éireann spokesperson said.
“Bus Éireann is committed to reducing its energy consumption and emissions by 50% by 2030 in line with the 2021 climate action plan,” the spokesperson said, adding that as part of the move, the company is transitioning its entire urban public service obligation fleet to zero emissions.
The €30 million EV charger plan will see the commissioning of out-of-the-box turnkey chargers and charging points, along with attendant training for Bus Éireann staff.
The scope will further allow for the provision of “suitable energy storage systems” or other sustainable backup systems in the event of a loss of grid power supply, according to the tender documents.