Barcelona commits to zero emissions buses

Posted: 18 December 2020 | | No comments yet

The city’s transport authority TMB has also committed to purchasing hydrogen-powered buses and is investing into biogas solutions too.

barcelona buses could soon be electric

Credit: Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona

Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has announced that more than half of its buses will be electric powered by 2030

TMB says it plans to purchase 210 battery-powered electric vehicles, 46 hydrogen and 154 gas hybrid vehicles during the 2021-2024 period. This means that over the next four years, 100 per cent of the fleet’s new additions (410 units) will be clean vehicles, while 62 per cent will be zero emission.

“Europe is calling for specific plans and actions, so TMB has taken on the challenge of decarbonisation and intends to put it into practice,” said TMB President Rosa Alarcón.

The announcement was made as a part of a seminar on the transport authority’s commitment to green energy. The keynote presentation was given by Gerardo Lertxundi, the CEO of TMB, and Jacobo Kalitovics, director of Barcelona’s bus network. They explained that the cornerstone of the proposal to decarbonise public transport and curb the climate crisis is the efficient electrification of the bus fleet, which they said will include careful planning of charging infrastructures in both bus depots and at the roadside. In this respect, TMB says it is promoting an innovative project to use electricity from the metro network to supply its buses, resulting in savings of up to 30 per cent.

The first bus routes in Barcelona to be electrified in 2021 will be three of the most heavily used on the network: H16 (which is already 32 per cent equipped with electric vehicles), H12 and V15. By 2030, more than half the fleet will be electric powered, according to TMB.

At the same time, TMB has started incorporating hydrogen fuel cell technology, which also has zero emissions, by contracting eight standard vehicles and awarding the concession to supply green hydrogen from a plant to be built next year on the Zona Franca industrial estate, which TMB claims will be the first plant of its kind for public use in Spain.

Finally, the third way in which TMB is hoping to reduce emissions from the Barcelona bus network is the adoption of biogas. The authority is promoting is involved in research projects such as LIFE Nimbus, which seeks to turn treatment plant sludge into fuel.