The Northern Ireland Executive has ordered 145 new zero and low emission buses from local supplier Wrightbus.
The order from the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is worth around £66m, to cover the buses and associated infrastructure.
The DfI said it will form a key part of operator Translink’s Net Zero Emissions Strategy.
A Wrightbus hydrogen-fuelled double decker
The order for zero emission buses comprises 80 Battery Electric Vehicles and 20 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, which the DfI said will be the most environmentally-friendly buses in Ireland. They will be deployed on Metro services in Belfast and Foyle Metro services in Derry.
There will also be 45 low emissions buses for Ulsterbus services across Northern Ireland.
Infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon (pictured) said: ‘Cleaner, greener, sustainable transport is key to protecting our environment and fighting the climate crisis. I have an ambitious vision for a low carbon future where we make low emission public transport accessible to people and communities across Northern Ireland.
‘I have been clear since coming to office that we must act now to deliver the change that our communities and our citizens deserve.’
Wrightbus CEO Buta Atwal said: ‘Investment in hydrogen, electric and low-emission buses, and the wider energy sector, can only be good for jobs in Northern Ireland. We have the climate and the technology to drive fundamental change here and position Northern Ireland as a world-leader. This order of 145 buses is a significant step and we are proud to work alongside Translink to achieve these goals.'
Three hydrogen-powered double decker buses ordered earlier in the year are due to enter passenger service before the end of this year. All the new buses are due to be in service during 2021/2022.
The DfI said Translink aims to secure sustainably produced hydrogen and electric to operate its zero emission fleets.