Wrightbus to double production in 2022 in major shift to zero-emission vehicles

The Wrightbus Electroliner and Streetdeck Hydroliner.
The Wrightbus Electroliner and Streetdeck Hydroliner.

BALLYMENA bus-maker Wrightbus has announced its production levels will double in 2022 with a major shift in output to zero-emission vehicles.

The Co Antrim manufacturer said it expects to produce 600 buses next year, almost double its output from 2021.

Chief executive Buta Atwal also said the group's production lines will shift from 70 per cent diesel vehicles this year to 70 per cent zero-emission buses in 2022.

The vehicles developed by Wrightbus include the world’s first hydrogen double decker bus – the Streetdeck Hydroliner, and the Electroliner, described by the manufacturer as the fastest-charging EV (electric vehicle) double decker on the market.

The Department for Infrastructure has already placed orders worth £104 million with Wrightbus for electric and hydrogen fuelled buses to be used by Translink.

“Working at scale, Wrightbus has a clear plan in place to reduce the costs of the buses to be comparable to diesel for the total cost of ownership,” said Mr Atwal.

“Wrightbus believes that hydrogen fuel cell buses, manufactured in Ballymena, can and should be used and powered across the UK and Ireland.?

“Not only will it secure and grow jobs at our factory in Ballymena, it will support the many other innovative businesses, supporting the growth of a hydrogen sector that will enable us to become a world leader in this low-carbon technology.”

Wrightbus first revealed its plans to ramp up production in August by announcing it will create 300 new jobs in 2022.

Meanwhile, the company which bought the former Wrightbus composites business in 2019, has launched a major recruitment drive as it aims to create 150 new jobs by next June.

It’s part of a £50 million growth plan by the Antrim-based Jans Group.