Welcome to the future – Ireland’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Trial

Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI) is delighted to announce a multi week, in-service, trial of a fuel cell electric bus in the Dublin area. This bus, powered by a 60KW Toyota fuel cell stack, will be the first ever Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) put into public service operation on the Island of Ireland. It is particularly significant that the vehicle in this first trial, in conjunction with the Department of Transport,  is a Bus that will be operated on different routes by CIÉ Group bus companies Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus as well as by Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Airport over a number of weeks in November and December, albeit carrying limited passengers due to the current Covid restrictions.

This is a cutting-edge technology that promises to make a huge contribution to the Climate challenge in Ireland, specifically in the Transport Sector.  The zero emissions Caetano ‘H2.CityGold’ pre-production bus will run on green hydrogen (H2) produced in Dublin by BOC Gases Ireland Ltd using renewable electricity and water.  The fuel cell electric bus is refuelled in minutes, similar to a conventional bus and its electric motive power is obtained when the Hydrogen molecules from its fuel are combined with Oxygen molecules from the air in the Fuel Cell.  As part of HMI’s roadmap for hydrogen deployment, this collaborative trial will extend from early November to mid-December giving real in-use information on the practical operation of the technology in varying weather, usage, and traffic conditions. HMI member ESB, will provide the green electricity used to produce the Hydrogen fuel for the trial. The only output from the vehicle is water.

Speaking at the today’s launch of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus on the road, HMI Chairman Mark Teevan (Toyota Ireland) said “this should be viewed as an important event, not because it’s the first H2 bus on the road;  but because it is a first step into the future for Ireland, enabling us to begin to envisage the practical solutions that will allow us to fully decarbonise road transport. We are all very conscious of the Environmental challenge we face in meeting our 2030 targets and the need to find zero-emissions solutions that will satisfy the varying needs of different users; public transport, haulage, van delivery, taxi or private car. FCEV’s are Electric Vehicles, providing specific benefits that include very quick refuelling, long range, and a particular suitability for heavy and long-distance requirements. We are delighted that Dublin has been selected to host the very first trial of the Caetano RHD prototype fuel cell bus. “

CaetanoBus, part of the Salvador Caetano Group and Mitsui & Co, is the most important manufacturer of buses and coaches in Portugal. In 2019, the Company presented its latest development, the H2.City Gold – the new hydrogen-powered Caetano electric bus. In the beginning of this year Caetano started its commercialisation phase and, in the 2nd, quarter-initiated fuel cell bus production plans. This is an innovative project that reflects the economic and environmental benefits of hydrogen towards a decarbonised society.

The trial will allow the partners to test this technology in everyday driving conditions and at a challenging time of the year in terms of weather, thereby gaining valuable information about the potential for large scale introduction of this technology in Ireland.  DCU/CIE also intend to obtain insights and feedback from passengers on the bus. Today’s hugely significant step will be followed early next year by a National Transport Authority trial involving a number of Double Decker FCEV buses while in Northern Ireland HMI Member Energia will shortly commence the production of H2 for road transport at a  windfarm in Co. Antrim which will be used as fuel for FCEV buses in Belfast. The increasing rate of developments is a visible confirmation that hydrogen for road transport is beginning to move into the delivery phase.

The Hydrogen Mobility Ireland project is a partnership of businesses from across many sectors, together with public sector and academic stakeholders, with all-Island cooperation, joining together to deliver a coordinated approach to the introduction of this cutting-edge technology to ensure that Ireland can benefit from being an early starter in this environmental transport solution. In addition to its use in transport, it is anticipated that Hydrogen will have a significant role to play in the decarbonisation of many other sectors of the economy. The HMI Members, listed below, are working together to enable the delivery of Hydrogen production from green energy, a national network of H2 re-fuelling stations and a strong supply of vehicles of different types; from cars and vans to buses, trucks and even trains. Of course, the completion of this will take a number of years but today’s innovation marks an important starting point on that journey.

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan TD said:

“I am delighted to welcome this Low Emission Trial of a H2.City Gold hydrogen fuel cell electric bus, with the assistance of Hydrogen Mobility Ireland and CaetanoBus. The trial will provide us with real world insight into the operation, refuelling and environmental impact of this innovative technology as well as enabling comparisons with the previously tested bus technologies.  Moving our urban bus fleet to cleaner and greener technologies is essential if we are to further reduce the carbon footprint of our public transport system and limit air pollutant emissions in our cities. Under the Government’s National Development Plan, Ireland has committed to stop buying diesel-only urban buses and to transition to lower-emission alternatives.”

Messages from the HMI Members involved / project partners:

The HMI members involved in this first HFCEV Trial, commenting on today’s launch said:

 BOC Ireland:

“BOC is delighted to be part of Ireland’s first hydrogen powered bus trial. As a Linde company we’ve installed over 190 hydrogen refuelling stations worldwide and successfully fuelled over 1.5 million hydrogen vehicles. We have the experience and capability to support HMI’s desire to quickly scope and implement profitable hydrogen mobility projects at scale, driving carbon reduction and net zero emission targets.”

Andreas Bieringer, Director of BOC Ireland.

 Bus Éireann: 

“Bus Éireann is committed to supporting the delivery of the National Climate Action Plan, with a focus on reducing vehicle emissions. We are targeting for half of our vehicles to be zero emission by 2030 with the remainder being low or ultra-low emission.  The additional range offered by hydrogen fuel cell vehicles make them especially relevant and interesting to Bus Éireann, given our mix of longer commuter, stage carriage and intercity services,” said Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer, Bus Éireann.  “We are delighted to be part of the HMI trial, and look forward to the experience of operating this bus over four weeks on a route from Dublin to Ashbourne. The research and experience from this trial is an important prelude to a more extensive pilot deployment that Bus Eireann will be leading on with the National Transport Authority in early 2021.  When Covid restrictions ease, we will be very excited to welcome Bus Éireann passengers to be among the first in Ireland to travel by hydrogen.”


“CaetanoBus is honoured to support Ireland’s first hydrogen fuel cell bus trial with its H2.City Gold. We have already started the commercial operation of hydrogen fuel cell bus in Germany and we commit to improve city transportation and to build the future of cities with our customers and partners through our innovative clean mobility solutions. Being part of this project, showing the capability of our hydrogen bus solution and supporting Ireland, in being at the forefront of decarbonisation innovation, is another significant step forward towards a greener public passenger transport” said Kohei Umeno, Chief Commercial Officer at CaetanoBus.


The CIÉ Group is delighted to support the trialling of the first hydrogen fuel cell bus in Ireland, a technology which has the potential to deliver a zero emissions transport solution for long distance and heavy duty vehicles.  The trial will prepare the way for the National Transport Authority to deploy three FCEV buses into the public transport fleet in 2021 as part of the transition of the national fleet to lower emission vehicles.   CIÉ Group considers this trial as an important step towards decarbonising transport and delivering solutions for the Programme for Government commitment to achieve 7% reduction of green house gas emissions annually.  Speaking today, CIÉ Group CEO, Lorcan O’Connor said “ This trial has been made possible with the support, innovation and flexibility of both our international and Hydrogen Mobility Ireland partners.  The trial underpins the commitment of the CIÉ Group of companies to progressing low emission solutions for transport”.


Dublin City University is devoted to creating a sustainable world, not only by placing sustainability at the core of all of our activities but through our research, academic expertise and industry collaborations.  The Caetano H2 Bus trial is testament to this and DCU is delighted to play an active part, with all partners in the realisation of this project “

President of Dublin City University Professor Daire Keogh

Dublin Airport (DAA):

“We’re delighted to be part of this exciting trial setting an example to other airports and organisations in Ireland and across the world.  Dublin Airport has been actively promoting and using low emission vehicles since 2012.  Our move to LEVs is part of the airport’s overall sustainability strategy which includes targets based around carbon, energy, waste, water and the fleet of vehicles used on the airport campus. Around 20% of the airport’s vehicle fleet have now been upgraded to Low Emission Vehicles (LEVs) and a further 5% are Hybrid vehicles. Dublin Airport also aims to convert its bus operations to a low emission vehicle fleet by 2022.”

Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport Managing Director

Dublin Bus: “As Ireland’s largest public transport provider – we are delighted to be participating in the trial of new fuel technologies such as Hydrogen. This trial will provide us with key insights in the areas of safety, reliability, and refuelling, all of which are key to creating confidence in new fuel technologies like Hydrogen. This trial is an important step on the road to decarbonising the public transport fleet in Dublin and a cleaner and more sustainable capital city as a result.”

CEO Ray Coyne


“ESB is proud to be part of the first ever trial in Ireland of zero emission Fuel Cell buses powered by hydrogen produced by renewable electricity from Ardnacrusha.  Zero CO2 hydrogen produced from ESB’s growing portfolio of wind and solar generation is a key part of our strategy for a brighter future powered by renewable electricity.  Green Renewable hydrogen allows further electrification of transport, enabling the full decarbonisation of the transport sector and improved air quality in Ireland.”

Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive

Toyota Ireland: “We in Toyota are really excited about Ireland’s first step into Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles. As the developer and provider of the fuel cell in the Caetano Bus we have a huge belief in this highly innovative environmental mobility solution which Toyota has been investing in the development of since 1996 towards ensuring a better future for our planet. I am delighted to be able to confirm the total commitment of Toyota Ireland to be in the forefront of making the plans contained in the Hydrogen Mobility Project a reality.”

Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland.