The milestone deal with German bus operator Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK), based in Cologne, is Wrightbus’ first order of left-hand drive versions of its Kite Hydroliner single deck buses.

Over the next two years, the 60 buses will be fully built at the Wrightbus Ballymena factory in Northern Ireland before export to Europe, with the first batch of vehicles being set to be delivered in 2023, with the remainder due in 2024.

The RVK order comes shortly after the UK based company’s landmark deal with the Australian bus builder, Volgren, to supply hydrogen powertrains which hopes to open a significant export market in the country.

Read more:  Wrightbus signs deal down under

Jo Bamford, Executive Chairman at Wrightbus, said, “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.

“RVK already has a substantial hydrogen fleet so for them to order from Wrightbus and recognise us as a leader in the sector 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.”

The Cologne bus operator, RVK already has the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell EV buses in Europe.

Dr. Marcel Frank, Managing Director of RVK, commented, “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.”

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