210 electric and hybrid buses ordered. Following the tender issue in early 2021, TMB Barcelona has now awarded five manufacturers with a total of six lots of vehicles, which are set to entry in operation between 2022 and 2024 (166 units in 2022 already).
The contracting of these 210 units is the result of a tender process that involves an overall investment of 112.5 million euros. In total there will be 78 pure electric buses, 108 compressed natural gas hybrids and 24 double-decker hybrids for tourist transport.
The aim is that by the end of 2024 TMB’s fleet of standard and articulated vehicles will consist only of electric, hybrid and compressed natural gas vehicles (currently 70%). Also, the first eight zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell buses, by CaetanoBus are still to arrive between the end of this year and the beginning of next year.
Solaris and BYD to provide 12-meter e-buses
Among the electric buses, the largest group is made of 12-meter e-buses equipped for depot charging, intended to replace diesel vehicles that are nearing the end of their useful life. With this technology, it will be possible to electrify medium-demand lines without having to install charging infrastructure on the street, only in the depot. The 49 vehicles requested have been divided into two lots to be awarded to different bidders: 25 will be supplied by BYD and the other 24 by Solaris, for a combined value of 29.64 million euros.
Secondly, 100% electric articulated buses, 18 metres long and opportunity-charged (like those running on line H16, TMB’s first all-electric line). The supply of 29 units has been awarded to the Basque company Irizar for 26.14 million euros. This ensures the rolling stock necessary for the complete electrification of lines H12 and V15.
CNG hybrid buses? MAN takes them all
With regard to the compressed natural gas hybrids, the two lots (articulated and 12-meter) have been awarded to the same company: MAN will supply 23 articulated vehicles (including 4 that will be necessary in 2024) and 85 standard vehicles (of which 30 correspond to renewal needs foreseen for 2024), for 43.84 million euros. They’ll be replacing vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, which have to be retired when they reach 15 years of age.
Finally, TMB has assigned Volvo to manufacture 24 double-decker hybrid (diesel-electric) vehicles for the Barcelona Bus Turístic, of which 14 are to be incorporated in 2022 and the other 10 in 2023 and 2024. They are valued at 12.78 million euros.
Towards a clean and efficient fleet
This major contract is part of the TMB 2050 Strategic Plan to renew and environmentally update the urban buses of Barcelona and the metropolitan area, in agreement with the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM). The plan calls for 508 environmentally friendly vehicles (electric, CNG or hydrogen) to be added between 2022 and 2025 and for the necessary infrastructure work to be carried out to supply them with green energy. With the 210 buses contracted now and the 69 buses received and added over the summer, around 30 % of the fleet will be renewed with environmentally friendly propulsion. The aim is that by the end of 2024 TMB’s fleet of standard and articulated vehicles will consist only of electric, hybrid and compressed natural gas vehicles (currently 70%).