In 2027, one third of EMT Madrid bus fleet will be electric and the other two thirds will be made of gas-powered buses. In the meanwhile, two zero emission (and zero costs) lines have been launched and the company has approved a 35 million euros investment for the purchase of 50 new electric buses. And on the horizon there is a new futuristic depot with capacity for 330 battery-electric buses.
Alfonso Sánchez Vicente, general manager of EMT Madrid, outlined in an interview with the Spanish specialized magazine Revista Viajeros the strategies of the company, even though the impact of the dramatic Coronavirus situation in the country could affect the projects on the short term.
In the interview realized by Revista Viajeros, Sánchez is quoted as saying so: «At present, gas-powered buses are a major part of our fleet. The target is to replace the few diesel we have left with 50 electric units each year in this legislature, and doubling this figures in the next. In this way, in 2027, one third of our fleet will be electric and the other two thirds will be gas vehicles».
No hybrid buses in the future of Madrid
Considering that EMT Madrid’s bus fleet is made of some 2,000 buses, one third of battery-electric vehicles mean that around 700 e-buses will be procured in the next 7 years.
In February 2017 the first generation of the Irizar i2e bus hit the road of the Spanish capital city. This first order was made up of a total of 15 electric buses. In June 2019, Irizar e-mobility secured a follow up order for further 20 units of ie bus, then bringing to 35 the number of battery-electric buses with EMT’s livery.
EMT Madrid is particulary known for the deployment of CNG powered buses: in late 2018 the public transport company ordered 276 units of the Mercedes Citaro NGT and 184 Scania N-280 CNG.
With regards to hybrid buses, EMT’s plans are not including them: «We have used hybrid vehicles, they have had their time, but we believe that both gas and pure electric vehicles are more suited to the needs of EMT Madrid. We will use electric vehicles in the areas where we need to circulate with zero emissions and gas in the rest», Alfonso Sánchez Vicente said to Revista Viajeros.
A futuristic depot for EMT electric buses
The general manager of EMT Madrid also stresses the importance that EMT depot for electric buses will have. The project for the conversion of La Elipa depot was disclosed in 2019. Madrid City Council approved the plan in April 2019.
The current site will be demolished and a new depot will be built. It’ll be a futuristic building of 40,000 square meters (32,000 dedicated to bus parkings) covered with solar panels and enriched by vertical gardens. The City Council announced it will invest nearly 90 million euros in the new infrastructures. Works are expected to be completed in two years.
«La Elipa’s depot is going to become a reference center for electromobility, not only in Spain, but in all Europe – Sánchez said to Revista Viajeros -. It will have a capacity for 330 electric buses with roof-pantograph charging system. We know that we will need an important energy supply and we are working with the energy companies. But we must remember that the centre will generate its own photovoltaic energy for self-consumption and that all the vehicles will have intelligent charging systems to make the process as efficient as possible».