Bus Éireann celebrates one year of Ireland’s first all-electric town bus service

During first year of service 11 electric vehicles completed over 530,000 emission-free kilometres

Yellow and green Electric Buses parked up at charging stations in Bus Éireann's Athlone depot

  • Funded by the National Transport Authority and operated by Bus Éireann, the Athlone town service is Ireland's first all-electric bus service

  • In first year, the service eliminated over 400,000kg of tailpipe C02 emissions

  • Bus Éireann's Athlone services have seen passenger growth of 25% in 2023

Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA) are marking one year since the launch of Ireland's first all-electric town service in Athlone town.

The Pathfinder project, as designated by the Department of Transport, was officially launched on 29 January 2023.
During the first year of service, 11 state-of-the-art zero-emission electric buses have transformed the bus service in Athlone Town, completing over 530,000 emission-free kilometres over 12 months.

These journeys throughout the year eliminated over 400,000 kilograms of tailpipe emissions when compared with those of a diesel vehicle.

The project, a €10 million investment by the NTA, became the first project to launch under the Government's Pathfinder Programme – a list of exemplar transport projects to be delivered by local authorities and agencies around the country within three years.

In preparation for the Athlone launch for the service, Bus Éireann drivers and mechanics participated in a comprehensive training programme of more than 500 hours – on the driving, maintenance and operation of the buses. The service, which has seen 25% passenger growth in 2023, operates two routes (A1 & A2) and is delivered by our over 50 employees in Athlone.

The Athlone town service bus fleet is composed entirely of Enviro200EV single-deck battery-electric buses supplied by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, which are in use in a number of major cities in the United Kingdom, including London and Glasgow.

The next phase of the electrification of Bus Éireann-operated public bus services will see the first electric buses operating services in a regional city when a first tranche of 34 double-deck electric buses begin entering service in Limerick this coming March.Drivers and staff at Limerick's Roxboro depot have been undertaking testing and training on the buses in recent weeks, in preparation for the launch.
Bus Éireann remains committed to delivering transformative sustainable public transport services across the country.

Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer, Bus Éireann said: "We are delighted to mark this milestone of the Athlone service. The launch of the service in January 2023 is an important step in our journey to supporting the delivery of the Government Climate Action Plan.We are proud to operate this environmentally friendly and accessible service for the people of Athlone, helping to sustainably connect this community.The Athlone project, as well as the upcoming transition of our Limerick city service to zero-emission bus operation, underscores our dedication and collaboration to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer, NTA said: "The launch of the all-electric service in Athlone has proven to be a significant milestone on the journey to a zero-emissions bus fleet for our towns and cities."For the last year, the people of Athlone – and not just our customers – have benefited from buses that are cleaner, quieter, more comfortable and more attractive."The experience we have gained here with our colleagues in Bus Éireann is already standing us in good stead as NTA rolls out similar programmes in other parts of the country."

Monday, 19th February, 2024