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Barcelona to acquire hybrid buses of new generation

The Catalan capital will be among the first European cities to have hybrid articulated buses with compressed natural gas

  • 6 juni 2020 20:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium bus hibrid tmb logo
Källa: Miguel Ángel Cuartero / TMB

The Metropolitan transport operator of Barcelona TMB is in the process of renewing its fleet and making it more sustainable. A couple of days ago, the company opened a procedure to acquire 46 hybrids, with compressed natural gas (CNG), 16 of which articulated. Once the purchase is complete, Barcelona will join just a handful of other European cities using buses with this kind of emission reduction technology.

Public transport in Barcelona becomes more sustainable and safer

The new vehicles are meant to replace the 15-year-old ones that are soon going to reach the end of their recommended lifetime. But apart from reducing the age of the fleet, which was 8.78 years on average by the end of 2019, the purchase is expected to lead to an improvement in environmental quality and safety. The order, currently in the bidding phase, also includes standard vehicles and minibuses.

The operation marks the first time that TMB opens a tender to incorporate new buses combining electric and CNG engines. The 13 vehicles with this technology that are already part of the fleet were built from conventional compressed natural gas vehicles to which were added two electric motors, a generator and other components in 2012-2013.

The hybrid system further reduces the emissions of CNG vehicles compared to a conventional vehicle, as it is applied on an engine that is considered environmentally advanced (EEV) which emits almost no particles and 90% fewer nitrogen oxides compared to a diesel engine.

When it comes to safety, the buses will have a driving assistance system with front and blind-spot sensors. Always active, it generates audible and visual alerts when there is an imminent risk of collision.

As part of the purchase, bidders are requested to supply six minibuses to replace the oldest vehicles serving the neighbourhoods. The acquisition of the 52 new buses, with a base budget of 21.3 million euros, is in addition to the contract to buy 23 100% electric articulated buses for an amount of 20.7 million euros which is already awarded.

Thus, the active orders for the renewal of the fleet of Barcelona add up to 75 units and an investment of about 42 million euros. Whoever wins the bid, is expected to manufacture the vehicles this year and deliver them in the first quarter of 2021.

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