First commercial electric bus in Ireland enters service
Efficient and environmentally friendly, the bus will operate daily between the Crowne Plaza Dublin and Holiday Inn hotels, and Dublin Airport
Pictured left to right: Crowne Plaza general manager Gareth O’Neill, ESB chief executive Pat O’ Doherty, and DAA CEO Dalton Philips.
The number of electric cars on our roads may be increasing, but what about electric buses? These are still a rarity, but a unique partnership between ESB’s Smart Energy Services and the Crowne Plaza Dublin has seen the first commercial electric bus enter service in Ireland.
At the beginning of 2019, the Crowne Plaza Hotel ordered a new single-deck, fully-electric Volvo bus with the electric vehicle (EV) charging solution delivered by ESB. Efficient and environmentally-friendly, the 200kW battery capacity bus now operates between the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express Hotels in Northwood Park, Santry, to Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport. Since the bus runs on electricity, it results in significant cost and carbon savings compared to diesel.
The battery-powered bus may only have a relatively short distance to travel, but it adds up – to more than 200km a day. To ensure an all-day service, the availability of rapid charging is naturally essential. ESB’s Smart Energy Services was able to step in and provide this – using high-power ultra-fast 150kW plug-in charging means the bus requires only 90 minutes charging each day, allowing it to be integrated smoothly into the daily schedule..
Pat O’Doherty, chief executive of ESB, says: “ESB is committed to a low-carbon energy future, powered by clean electricity, so we are delighted to be involved in this initiative to put the first fully-electric bus onto Irish roads. Working closely with the Tifco Hotel Group, our Smart Energy Services team installed an advanced charge point system that integrates with the airport shuttle schedule to allow the bus to operate seamlessly throughout the day.”
Indeed, ESB’s experience in private and public charging infrastructure over the past decade allowed it to lead the entire project, from infrastructure installation, to site planning and consultation. ESB also provided the finance solution required to invest in the charging infrastructure. Its ability to provide fleet-charging infrastructure or car-charging infrastructure for businesses means they can act to reduce carbon emissions without the need for significant upfront capital investment.
Electric vehicle charging facilities are increasingly becoming a necessity on both commercial and public premises as the economic and ecological benefits become more and more apparent. ESB is working with decision-makers across a variety of sectors, creating bespoke solutions to satisfy the charging requirements of EV drivers, whether going to work or travelling long distances. ESB can supply the service, utilities and funding required by businesses to introduce and maintain large-scale charging facilities, particularly where multiple charging points are required.
For example, Tesco Ireland, in partnership with ESB, recently announced plans for the rollout of dual-outlet electric vehicle chargers; these will be installed at 52 of its store carparks, spanning 18 counties countrywide. Under this partnership, ESB will supply, install and operate the charge points.
Marguerite Sayers, director of customer solutions, ESB Ireland, says ESB is proud to work with Tesco Ireland in delivering this charging infrastructure for its customers.
“The electrification of transport is a key element of ESB’s Brighter Future Strategy and our partnership with Tesco Ireland reaffirms our commitment to this. Since 2010, we have rolled out a nationwide public EV charging network, with plans to launch our first high-powered charging hubs in 2020, with support from the Irish Government’s Climate Action Fund. The addition of these chargers at Tesco stores ensures more customers will have a reliable, accessible network for the benefit of all users.”
The number of private electric vehicle charging points across the country continues to proliferate, but ESB’s Smart Energy Services has plans to grow not only the number but also the quality of charging facilities for commercial charging points across the country. ESB’s Smart Energy Services business models reflect the bespoke requirements depending on each business, whether it’s for cars or fleet. Through funded projects, ESB has had significant success in providing fleet-charging facilities; it has recently installed more than 60 chargers with power varying from 16kW per hour to 155kW per hour on one site.
“We look forward to offering EV charging solutions to other fleet providers as well as our experience as an energy consultancy, energy management services and implementation of energy projects for businesses who are large users of energy,” says Ciaran Gallagher, head of Smart Energy Services for ESB.
As the Crowne Plaza electric bus hits the road, its smooth operation could have significant implications for future planning of more sustainable public and private transport for Ireland as low-emission alternatives are sought.
Find out how we’re creating a brighter future at esb.ie/smartenergy