Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has opened the tender for the purchase of 83 battery electric buses, which will replace diesel buses, which will be retired in 2023.

The tender, recently opened in agreement with the Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM), is divided into three lots: all 100% electric and zero emission vehicles, for a total of 65 units with the possibility of increasing this to 83 depending on funding and aid available. Two of the lots are standard size (12 meters) pantograph night charging system: 45 units will be contracted, which can be extended to 63. The third lot consists of 20 articulated units (18 meters in length) for overnight pantograph charging or other technologies. The tender specifications specify that the vehicles are to be delivered in several lots between April and September 2023. The base budget for the tender is 58.3 million euros.

TMB, zero emission lines

The TMB fleet currently includes 30 100% electric buses, all articulated and fast-charging via pantograph, serving the H16 line, which will be fully electric from summer 2021, and sometimes also the H6, 7 and 33 lines. The next step will be the electrification of two other high-demand lines, H12 and V15, for which TMB has contracted to supply an additional 29 100% electric articulated buses and the associated charging infrastructure. In parallel, 49 full-size electric cars with overnight charging are being produced to convert medium-demand lines to zero emissions without having to install on-street charging infrastructure. The 8 hydrogen cell vehicles being delivered to TMB also have electric drive. With the units covered by this tender arriving in 2023, electrification of multiple lines will continue without the need to install on-street chargers, but at depots, where buses will fill their batteries to offer next-day service. By the end of next year, TMB will have up to 200 electrically powered buses, with the addition of the various technologies (fast and slow-charging batteries and hydrogen cells).

TMB President Laia Bonet emphasized Barcelona’s “leading role” in implementing green mobility technologies, and in particular “the leadership of public transport as the backbone of more sustainable and livable cities.” “With the commitment to the electrification of bus lines, we will make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 17,000 tons, which we have set for 2025, and we are in line with the goals of decarbonization and sustainable development,” she said.

Electrification is, in fact, at the heart of the plan for the environmental renewal and upgrade of urban buses in Barcelona and the metropolitan area, one of the main lines of TMB’s Strategic Plan 2025. The forecast is that between 2022 and 2025 more than 500 environmentally friendly vehicles (electric, CNG or hydrogen) will be incorporated and the necessary infrastructure works will be carried out to power them with green energy. The goal is that by the end of 2024, TMB’s fleet of standard and articulated vehicles will consist only of electric, hybrid and CNG vehicles (currently 75%).


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