The Anonymous Widower

Order! Order! It’s A Bus-y Time For Wrightbus

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ballymena Times.

This is the first paragraph.

The Wrightbus order book continues to be busy. The Go-Ahead Group has signed a contract to buy its first hydrogen powered buses, as part of a deal which could become the largest of its kind in Europe.

Let’s hope that this is the start of something big!

November 16, 2021 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Your post got me wondering about the general health of the UK’s bus industry, after all it is not only what is happening with Wrightbus but also how things are going for ADL and Optare (perhaps I should now call them Switch Mobility).
    I found this link which points to a blockage in the UK order book that needs freeing up.
    https://scottishbusinessnews.net/mps-park-the-bus-outside-parliament-to-demand-pm-accelerates-bus-buying-pledge/

    Comment by fammorris | November 16, 2021 | Reply

    • It seems at the moment that Wrightbus have stolen a march on the other manufacturers, as they have packaged it up with finance and fuel. The family tie-up with JCB doesn’t harm either, as both companies’ products probably have similar support needs.

      I can see Wrightbus making significant advances in countries where JCB has a strong presence.

      I can also see JCB’s hydrogen internal combustion technology ending up in Wrightbus buses.

      For instance, London’s Routemasters only have a small Cummins diesel engine, which if it were to be replaced by a hydrogen engine would decarbonise a thousand buses.

      Comment by AnonW | November 16, 2021 | Reply

  2. 1. I don’t know about Optare but Alexander Dennis have also covered the subject of finance.
    2. In all probability the spark assisted engine will eventually bear fruit, however I don’t share your optimism about the advanced state of development of JCB’s internal combustion engine, and especially after seeing the engine running. While JCB are going a good job I cannot believe that they have some unique insight that has been overlooked by every other engine manufacturer, many of whom are far more heavily invested in that particular procurement chain.
    Where I would agree with you is that JCB have a strong and respected international presence, nonetheless I wouldn’t be so bold as to conclude that it would necessarily benefit Wrightbus without the relationship between the two companies becoming more formal.

    Comment by fammorris | November 16, 2021 | Reply

  3. On your second point, I backed a company that were delving in a rarely explored area of fluid dynamics, that even the great Osborne Reynolds didn’t explore.

    They developed two successful products; an aerosol powered by that terribly dangerous gas; nitrogen and a metred-dose inhaler for asthma drugs, which had no batteries or compressed gases. Both were sold to large pharmaceutical companies for sensible sums of money.

    I had done enough fluid mechanics to realise that the technology had other applications, one of which was fuel-injection. We discussed our ideas with two top car manufacturers, but nothing came of it.

    So when people start talking about reciprocating engines powered by hydrogen, I believe them.

    The family connections between JCB and Wrightbus are son and father, so I suspect favours are regularly exchanged.

    Comment by AnonW | November 16, 2021 | Reply


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