Barcelona is expanding its zero-emission bus fleet as Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) continues to order new fully electric models to join the service. TMB aims to completely phase out diesel buses from its active fleet by 2030.
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The new models will also include natural gas and hybrid buses. However, recent news saw TMB buy mostly electric models. Forst, the company has ordered 23 articulated electric buses to replace diesel buses on the H16 line. The buses are 14 Solaris Urbino Electric and nine Irizar i2e, each 18 metres long and equipped with pantographs. The 23 electric articulated buses now ordered are to replace older diesel vehicles from the beginning of 2021.
For the conversion, rapid-charging stations with correspondingly powerful transformers have been installed at the two termini of the line, which runs from the Zona Franca industrial area in the Sants-Montjuic district near the airport and the Forum/Besos Campus in the northeast of the city. The stations will allow two buses to be charged simultaneously by pantographs “to ensure the regularity of service”. The charging capacities are not mentioned; with the Solaris Urbino 18, the pantograph generally delivers more than 450 kW. Irizar speaks of up to 600 kW charging capacity for the new generation of the ie, presented last November.
In the press release, TMB does not go into the technical details of the drives – so it is unclear which technical configuration the Spanish has chosen. Irizar offers about five different positions of the CCS socket to adapt the vehicle to the respective depot. Solaris can also be customised, for example in the number of battery modules.
The only thing that has been confirmed is that Barcelona will be using buses with new interior design, for example, to improve the rear entrance and passageway. In addition, the driver is supported by numerous assistance systems to reduce the probability of accidents.
Update 10 June 2021 – top up Irizar
In Barcelona, nine more electric articulated buses from Irizar will soon enter service on the H16 line. These will join four electric Irizar buses that have already been in service on the line since 2019. Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) ordered 23 articulated electric buses in February 202e to replace diesel buses on line H16, 14 from Solaris and the nine Irizar buses mentioned above.
Update 16 September 2021 – top up Solaris
Barcelona’s public transport operator TMB is once again relying on electric Solaris buses. TMB ordered 24 Urbino 12 electric buses from the Polish manufacturer, set to arrive in the capital of Catalonia by the end of 2022.
TMB’s last order from Solaris, as outlined above, comprised 14 of the articulated electric buses, which were delivered in 2020 and 2021.
By now, a total of 19 Solaris articulated buses of type Urbino 18 electric have made it into the TMB service in Barcelona.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal & Nora Manthey
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