The first zero emissions vehicle is undergoing its trial phase since February. The four new vehicles are also being tested as part of the ZeEUS (Zero Emission Urban bus Systems) programme, an initiative that promotes electric urban transport and is funded by the European Union and coordinated by the International Association of Public Transport. Several European cities are participating in the project, and Barcelona is the first in which the vehicle operation and performance data will be analysed.
On 18 August, Barcelona put into operation the first 100% electric bus manufactured in Europe and this week, it introduced the second one, the i2e, a standard European-manufactured bus with a length of 12 metres, built in the Basque Country by the company Irizar and with a seating capacity for 76 passengers. The vehicle is propelled by a 230-kW engine charged by sodium-nickel batteries and has a driving range of between 200 and 250 kilometres. The batteries are charged during the night in the garage located in the Triangle and they can also store the energy produced by regenerative braking.
This first unit has been assigned to line 20 (Marítima – Pl. Congrés), but it will later be incorporated into other lines. The other two buses which are still being built by the Polish company Solaris have a length of 18 metres and capacity for 120 passengers. They are scheduled to join the city’s bus fleet in the summer of 2015.
The vehicle has all the usual features of the TMB fleet in terms of accessibility and comfort, and innovations such as the location and delimiting of the two areas for wheelchairs, different air conditioning/heating systems for the passengers and driver, and cameras for monitoring reverse manoeuvres and exit doors.
TMB is currently a relevant bus operator in environmental terms, as it has one of the cleanest and most advanced bus fleets: 411 vehicles fuelled by compressed natural gas, over 130 hybrid vehicles and a high-performance filter system which has drastically reduced the emissions of the other diesel vehicles, with the objective of protecting the environment and improving the efficacy of the fleet.