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Barcelona procures electric buses

6 May 2016

While Barcelona’s (Spain) network is already one of the cleanest in Europe thanks to its hybrid and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses and the retrofitting of its diesel vehicles with particulate filters, the public transport operator Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has decided to integrate fully-electric buses into its fleet. This started with the purchase of a BYD K9 bus and two IRIZAR buses. A tender for two additional electric buses was subsequently published in January 2014.

These two extra buses (along with the IRIZAR buses) are part of the EU-funded ZeEUS project which aims to introduce electric buses into the fleets of European municipalities. The tender clearly specified that TMB would buy electric buses, whatever their type (battery, on-road charging or hydrogen fuel cell) and their length, together with the necessary charging stations.

Other technical specifications related to the battery range as the buses must be capable of providing an air-conditioned service for 16 hours per day. Then, after considering these exacting specifications, the award-criteria set for the tender was based on price. TMB chose to purchase two 18 metre-long Solaris Urbino, designed for 120 passengers each. The buses are charged at each end of the line. This charging system allows lighter batteries to be used onboard and, consequently, is more energy-efficiency.

For more information, visit Eltis.