Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has ordered eight fuel cell buses from the Portuguese manufacturer Caetano Bus. Before the hydrogen buses go into operation, TMB will be getting more battery-electric buses.
TMB’s goal is that by 2030 the active fleet will consist only of natural gas, hybrid and electric buses, by which time pure diesel buses are to be phased out. In February, TMB ordered 23 18-meter articulated buses made up of 14 Solaris Urbino Electric and nine Irizar i2e. These are scheduled to go into service as early as 2021.
The hydrogen bus now ordered is the twelve meters long Caetano H2.City Gold. The vehicles are scheduled to arrive in Barcelona in November 2021 and are expected to enter service in early 2022. TMB estimates the value of the order at 6.4 million euros.
“As a company with a vocation for leadership, we are committed to innovation and the fight against pollution in cities, to achieve cleaner mobility for the future”, says Rosa Alarcón, President of TMB, “In this sense, TMB must always be at the forefront of sustainable and efficient mobility, which is why today we are taking another step in improving the fleet with this purchase of eco-friendly buses.”
The tender for the fuel cell buses was launched in June. At that time it was also announced that TMB wants to build a plant for the production, storage and refuelling of hydrogen together with the Zona Franca Consortium (CZFB). The 5,000 square meter site has already been found, and the expected consumption was set at 160 kilograms of hydrogen per day (i.e. 20 kilograms per bus). In addition to TMB’s fuel cell buses, the plant is “potentially” to be opened to other fleets and also private FCEVs. At the moment there is no hydrogen filling station in Barcelona that is also designed for commercial vehicles.
The Portuguese manufacturer Caetano Bus presented the H2.City Gold in October 2019. The vehicle uses the fuel cell technology of the Toyota Mirai. Combined with five hydrogen tanks that can store a total of 37.5 kilograms of H2, the buses should be able to travel up to 400 kilometres which is the value the manufacturer stated when presenting the model. According to the latest information from TMB, Caetano assumes a range of around 300 kilometres with a daily consumption of 20 kilograms of hydrogen. According to the manufacturer, a refuelling process should take less than nine minutes at 350 bar.
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