Launched by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, the service is the culmination of a €10 million investment by the National Transport Authority (NTA) as part of the three-year Pathfinder Programme aiming to develop a number of transport projects across Ireland over the next three years.

The project will see a total of eleven new electric buses operated in Athlone by Bus Éireann, the national bus company. The service will reduce CO2 emissions by 400,000kg annually, with over 10,000 passengers availing of the service per week.

“In 2022, we connected 67 new towns with buses and that number will continue to climb. I would like to commend Bus Eireann and the National Transport Authority for all the work they are doing across the country, and I look forward to many more bus services and depots going electric over the coming years,” said Minister Ryan, speaking at the launch.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said: “The launch of these electric buses today represents a very significant milestone on the journey to a zero-emissions fleet for our town and city bus services.

“From today the people of Athlone will benefit from buses that are cleaner, quieter, more comfortable and more attractive.

“Athlone will be the first service in Ireland to be delivered entirely by electric buses, and we should not underestimate the significance of that for this town and for public transport in general.”