Wrightbus secures new European order for hydrogen buses

German transport company Saarbahn GmbH has ordered 28 Kite Hydroliners from Wrightbus in Ballymena

BALLYMENA-based bus maker Wrightbus has moved another steps closer to its stated aim of becoming a European leader in zero emission buses by securing a lucrative order from Germany for its hydrogen single deck bus.

It has received an order from Saarbahn GmbH in the state of the Saarland for 28 Kite Hydroliners, with the first due to be delivered this year.

Saarbahn employs 580 people and transports around 43.7 million passengers by road and rail every year, and its order follows others in Germany from West Verkehr and Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH for 12 and 60 Kite Hydroliners respectively.

Further contracts for 51 buses from two additional customers have already been signed in 2024.

Jean-Marc Gales, chief executive of Wrightbus.
Jean-Marc Gales, chief executive of Wrightbus.

Speaking to the Irish News last week, Wrightbus chief executive Jean-Marc Gales spoke of how growth in Europe, and in particular Germany, is key to the company’s European expansion.

In that interview he said: “We have now built up our European sales team and have an after-sales facility in Cologne. That it is our entry to the German and European market, but we will not stop there.

“We’re UK leader now, but we want to become European leader and we want to be a world-leading company.”

Speaking specifically on the latest Germany deal he added: “This is a significant deal for Wrightbus, Saarbahn GmbH and the people of Saarland. We are delighted to deliver even more zero-emission buses in support of clear net zero targets

“Saarbahn is the largest public transport operator in Saarbrücken and the surrounding area. Therefore, adding hydrogen buses to the fleet will have a significant positive impact on the region’s environment.”

Project manager Torsten Burgardt from Saarbahn said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with Wrightbus to bring zero-emission buses to the roads of Saarland.

“We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and this is the first step towards ensuring that half of our fleet is made up of zero-emission buses in the next three years.”