Great British manufacturer Wrightbus secures further German order for 46 hydrogen buses

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Photo credit: Wrightbus

World-beating zero-emission bus manufacturer Wrightbus has announced a milestone deal to provide 46 hydrogen buses to Germany – taking a demo bus from Belfast to showcase its reliability and range.

The buses ordered by Cottbusverkehr GmbH will serve the city of Cottbus, the second largest city in the state of Brandenburg, and and in the western part of the district of Spree-Neiße.

It follows a landmark announcement by the German government to implement a €350 million scheme to support the production of renewable hydrogen. 

Wrightbus is Europe’s fastest-growing bus manufacturer and follows the company’s rapid rise since it was bought out of administration in 2019. It was named Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing company by Growth Index this week – employing 1,650 people and producing 22 buses a week.

The Cottbus order for the Kite Hydroliner buses follow deals in Germany with West Verkehr, Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK), and Saarbahn GmbH, with more European orders in the pipeline.

Chief Executive Jean-Marc Gales said the deal was a vital step in helping Germany decarbonise its public transport network.

“We are delighted to be working with the city of Cottbus on this incredibly important initiative. Hydrogen has a key role to play in moving away from fossil fuels to decarbonise energy and provide cleaner air for all. This is especially true in public transport and we are proud that our buses will be on the streets providing and clean and comfortable service for the people of this region.”

“This is one of our largest orders in Germany to date and we look forward to our ongoing relationship.”

The 46 buses ordered by Cottbusverkehr GmbH are the operator’s first hydrogen buses. They are compliant with VDV (Association of German Transport Companies) regulations and also meet the requirements of the European General Safety Regulation GSR2, which covers safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.

Ralf Thalmann, CEO of Cottbusverkehr, said: “Cottbusverkehr will run 11 Kite Hydroliners for city traffic in and around Cottbus. We will take an additional 35 hydrogen buses and gradually use them for local transport in the Spree-Neisse region in 2025. 

“This is a big step in Lusatia towards climate-neutral local public transport. We look forward to working with Wrightbus. With its offer, the company has shown its commitment and willingness to offer suitable solutions.”

Cottbus Mayor Marietta Tzschoppe added“We are taking a first, important step towards the future of mobility. This is where the energy transition becomes concrete and it creates a positive impact for our passengers.”

The first buses are due to be delivered at the end of 2024.

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