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Joerg Hofmann: 'Huge opportunities' for Wrightbus hydrogen tech in Australia

Australian manufacturer Volgren's new hydrogen bus, powered using Wrightbus hydrogen chassis technology.

THE new chief executive of Wrightbus has said there is “huge” potential for the uptake of the Ballymena bus-maker’s hydrogen technology across public transport in Australia.

Joerg Hofmann was speaking after announcing a deal to supply Australian bus body manufacturer Volgren with Wrightbus hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology.

Two zero-emission hydrogen buses will initially be deployed in Brisbane by bus operator Transdev under the arrangement.

But Mr Hofmann, who left the London Electric Vehicle Company to take up the top post at Wrightbus this month, said it could open the door to for many more buses in the future.

“This is an extremely exciting development for sustainable public transport in Australia,” he said.

“We know from our vast expertise and experience the significant part hydrogen can play in the decarbonisation of public transport and we believe the scope for uptake across the Australian market is huge as the country makes the vital switch to zero-emission vehicles.

“Our hydrogen technology has a number of advantages - our Wrightbus Hydroliner bus has a 300-mile range, takes eight minutes to refuel and journeys are zero-emission due to it emitting only water vapour.”

The £1.75 million purchase of the buses has been jointly funded by Transdev and the Queensland State Government.

Transdev Queensland managing director Mark McKenzie said: “The buses will be built by Volgren using a Wrightbus Hydrogen chassis and we look forward to testing these buses on city roads, providing valuable data to Translink and the Queensland Government about their performance.

“Our local Brisbane team is also excited to grow our own local hydrogen expertise using the experience of our global Transdev teams in running zero emission fleets right around the world.”