Athlone’s first electric bus service wins top prize at Sustainable Business awards

Pictured at the Sustainability awards ceremony were, l-r, David McGee of PwC, Rory Leahy, Chief Safety and Sustainability Officer, Bus Éireann and Daniel McConnell, editor of the Business Post.

Pictured at the Sustainability awards ceremony were, l-r, David McGee of PwC, Rory Leahy, Chief Safety and Sustainability Officer, Bus Éireann and Daniel McConnell, editor of the Business Post.

The Bus Éireann electric town service project which was launched in Athlone at the start of the year has achieved two awards at the PwC Business Post Sustainable Business Awards.

The project was successful in the ‘Sustainable Project: Transport’ award category, as well as winning the overall top ‘Grand Prix’ award competing against other category winners such as An Post and Bank of America. The awards were adjudicated by an independent panel of experts in environmental, social and governance issues.

The Athlone electric town service was launched in January 2023 following investment of €10 million by the National Transport Authority (NTA ). The project is part of the Pathfinder Programme which plays a key role in the implementation of the Government’s National Sustainable Mobility Policy. More than 540,000km are operated on the town service annually, with more than 10,000 passenger journeys every week. Bus Éireann commends the hard work and commitment of our drivers, cross functional team, engineering department and project partners to facilitate this transition to a fully electric town fleet. Bus Éireann looks forward to continuing to serve the people of Athlone.

“Bus Éireann are delighted to have our project, Ireland’s first all-electric town service in Athlone, recognised and celebrated as the top award winner. Since the project’s launch in January 2023 the 11 electric buses have collectively completed over 170,000 emission free kilometres. They are providing a quieter, cleaner service and a more pleasant journey for passengers and drivers, and positively affecting Athlone town centre in terms of noise and air quality,” Rory Leahy, Chief Safety and Sustainability Officer, Bus Éireann, said at the award ceremony.

These awards represent Bus Éireann’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its emissions. Bus Éireann is committed to reducing its energy consumption and emissions by 50% by 2030 in line with the 2021 Climate Action Plan. It is transitioning 100% of its urban public service obligation fleet to zero emissions vehicles with associated EV charging/H2 refuelling infrastructure, and aims to complete this by the end of 2035.

Bus Éireann also recently signed a €3 million contract with Hitachi to begin electrification of Limerick depot. This project is funded by the NTA as part of the transformation of Ireland’s urban bus fleets to zero tailpipe emission vehicles. Hitachi will work with Bus Éireann to deliver a new on site MV electricity substation, install 24 charge points, carry out all civil and cabling works and the commissioning of the charging infrastructure.

 

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