Wrightbus has signed a deal with German Bus operator Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK) in Cologne to supply up to 60 Kite Hydroliner single deck buses over the next two years. The fuelcell buses will be the first integral left-hand drive vehicles that Wrightbus has made and exported since green entrepreneur Jo Bamford bought the firm out of administration in 2019. The first vehicles will be delivered to RVK in 2023, with the remainder due in 2024.
It is the second international zero-emission bus deal in a fortnight UK bus manufacturer Wrightbus announced. The RVK order comes hot on the heels of a landmark deal with Australian bus body builder Volgren to supply hydrogen power trains. All of the buses for RVK will be fully built at the Wrightbus factory in Ballymena, supporting green jobs and the wider Northern Ireland economy. “RVK already has a substantial hydrogen fleet so for them to order from Wrightbus is hugely gratifying and a testament to the reputation we’ve built up in the zero-emission sector. The recent appointment of our dedicated European Chief Commercial Officer Jean-Luc Deflandre highlights our desire to grow in the market, and we’re hoping this order marks the start of the roll out of many left-hand drive zero-emission buses in cities across Europe and beyond in the coming years”, said Wrightbus Executive Chairman, Jo Bamford. “This deal is a significant one for us in many ways. Not only is it our first European order since I took over, but it’s also our second international deal in quick
succession and it shows that Wrightbus has a huge part to play on the global stage.” Rescued from administration by green entrepreneur Jo Bamford in October 2019, Wrightbus has since gone from strength to strength, taking staff numbers from 56 to more than 900. Since first entering passenger service in 2020, StreetDeck Hydroliners have clocked up more than a million miles, preventing 1,700 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere on those bus journeys. RVK Managing Director, Dr. Marcel Frank: “We have currently received federal funding to expand our hydrogen bus fleet by 2025. The combination of the most economical offer with a robust service concept is the reason why we placed the order with Wrightbus.“ Zero-emission vehicles are making up 70 per cent of production this year of Wrightbus.