Barcelona is expanding its electric bus fleet: Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) 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.
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TMB’s goal is that by 2030, the active fleet will consist only of natural gas, hybrid and electric buses and diesel buses will be completely phased out. The H16 line will be the first to be completely converted to electric buses. 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, more than 450 kW is generally possible with the pantograph systems. Irizar speaks of up to 600 kW charging capacity for the new generation of the ie, which was presented last November.
In the press release, TMB does not go into the technical details of the engines – 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: 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. The operator Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) ordered 23 articulated electric buses in February 2020 as reported above to replace diesel buses on line H16, 14 from Solaris and the nine Irizar buses mentioned above.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany