The National Transport Authority, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann launched the Low Emission Bus Trial yesterday.
The trials are taking place on selected routes in Dublin and Cork and will test a range of technologies and fuels under real-driving conditions.
Full electric, hybrid-electric, hydrogen and compressed natural gas/biogas buses are being tested alongside retrofitted diesel buses.
The trials will run until April of next year with the buses being assessed under a number of headings including CO2 and air quality pollutant emissions, energy efficiency, costs and infrastructural requirements.
The buses will be trialled on the Number 9 route in Dublin City and on the Number 207a route in Cork City over the next four months.
Simulating real-driving conditions, the buses will stop at or near bus stops with the doors opening and closing but the buses will not carry any passengers.
The buses involved in the trials will not affect existing schedules or services and normal bus services will continue on these routes.
The NTA, alongside the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Dublin Bus & Bus Éireann recently launched the Low Emission Bus Trial, to test a range of alternatively-fuelled buses under real-driving conditions on selected Dublin & Cork routes. https://t.co/pNAnySFZQJ pic.twitter.com/lbnH4liP6t— TransportForIreland (@TFIupdates) December 11, 2018
Where possible, the buses will be identifiable by their front scroll reading 'Low Emissions Bus Trial - Not in Service' as well as signs affixed to the windows.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross welcomed the trials saying that this year has been "a watershed year" for Ireland in recognising the impacts of climate change.
Minister Ross said: "We are determined that the choice of fuels or technologies that we make will be the right one for our urban bus fleets and will support the continued provision of effective public transport services as well as contributing to decarbonising the transport sector and improving our urban air quality."
The launch of the trials yesterday coincided with the release of a report which saw Ireland ranked as the worst performing European country for action on climate change.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) said that "existing climate mitigation efforts will not enable Ireland to achieve either its EU 2020 or 2030 targets domestically.
"The long-standing lack of implementation of substantive measures to put the country on a well-below-2°C pathway results in a very low rating for Ireland’s national policy performance."