EIB to finance Grupo Ruiz’s modernisation of Spanish bus fleet
Posted: 10 January 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The new vehicles will provide public transport services in Madrid, Majorca, Badajoz, Toledo, Salamanca and Murcia, covering both urban and intercity lines.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to finance the modernisation of Grupo Ruiz‘s bus fleet in Spain by facilitating €27.5 million for the introduction of 173 safer, less polluting and more modern vehicles.
The EIB support will reportedly enable Grupo Ruiz to replace more polluting diesel buses with 32 electric and 141 compressed natural gas alternatives. The new buses will enter service over the next two years and aim to help improve air quality in the selected cities. Grupo Ruiz’s EIB-financed investments also include the construction of three new electric charging stations in Badajoz, Alcudia and Palma de Mallorca.
Since 2016, the EU bank and the European Commission have been implementing a joint initiative dedicated to financing cleaner transport (the Cleaner Transport Facility). It has reportedly been assisting a number of Spanish cities to swap their older, more polluting diesel vehicles for new hybrid, electric or latest generation compressed natural gas replacements. This agreement is the fifth to be financed by the EIB in Spain under this initiative, for which it has provided approximately €230 million.
EIB Vice-President, Emma Navarro, who is responsible for the Bank’s climate action and operations in Spain, said: “Supporting sustainable public transport that cuts polluting emissions is among the EIB’s key priorities. As the EU climate bank, we are determined to dedicate more resources to supporting investments promoting climate action while also generating economic growth and jobs. This project is a good example of this, and also shows the positive impact of EIB financing on people’s lives, helping to improve air quality in our cities.”
Grupo Ruiz CEO, Gregorio Ruiz, added: “We are very aware of our responsibility in one of the big challenges of this century: working together to protect the environment. Mobility sector players have a key role in this, which is why we are committed to continuing to promote far more sustainable transport; a journey that we began over 25 years ago with our first natural gas-powered buses. The agreement between the EIB and Grupo Ruiz shows how important it is to join forces to achieve this goal.”