UK bus manufacturer Wrightbus has set its sights on expansion across Germany, Italy, France, Spain and beyond with the appointment of Jean-Luc Deflandre as European Chief Commercial Officer. He brings more than 15 years of experience working in the European electric and hydrogen bus market (he is a former Advisor to the Board of BYD, former Chief Commercial Officer of Ebusco. He has also been involved in Dancer Bus project, in Lithuania).
Jean-Luc Deflandre appointed Wrightbus European CCO
Wrightbus stresses it currently has the largest fleet of fuel cell buses in Europe and second largest in the world, with 90 in operation across the UK and Ireland.
Wrightbus has big ambitions for Europe “with the development of left-hand drive hydrogen-fuelled vehicles already under way“, the company says: “This year the company will double output at its factory in Northern Ireland, as well as increasing production of zero emissions electric and hydrogen buses to around 70 per cent of its total output – up from just 30 per cent last year”.
Wrightbus targets European market (with Jean-Luc Deflandre)
The Wrightbus Streetdeck Hydroliner was launched in Aberdeen in 2020, with the fleet entering passenger service in January 2021. The Hydroliner bus emits only water from its tailpipe, with no harmful emissions. Single deck hydrogen and battery-electric buses were unveiled in September 2021.
In addition to the Aberdeen fleet, the company’s zero emission hydrogen buses are currently in operation in London, Birmingham, Dublin and Belfast, with several other towns and cities looking to introduce them to improve local air quality.
Wrightbus European CCO Jean-Luc Deflandre says: “I am delighted and excited to be joining Wrightbus at an incredibly important period for the company and for passenger transport as a whole. Wrightbus is leading the way in zero-emissions vehicles in this field and I am eager to bring my experience to bear across mainland Europe. I’m already in high level discussions in several major European cities who are keen to have the very best zero emission buses on their streets.”
Buta Atwal, Wrightbus CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jean-Luc Deflandre to our team to support our ambitions not only to decarbonise public transport across the UK and Ireland, but around the world. Working at scale, Wrightbus has a clear plan in place to reduce the costs of the buses to be comparable to diesel for the total cost of ownership. We believe that zero-emission buses, manufactured in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, can and should be used and powered across the world. We already have a strong network of suppliers across Europe and we’re looking forward to building an equally strong customer base for our world-class buses.”