Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has taken significant strides toward reducing emissions in its transit fleet, securing 36 hydrogen buses from Solaris with financial support from Spain's Ministry of Transport, Mobility, and the Urban Agenda. The acquisition is part of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan – Next Generation, further aligning the city's public transportation system with its sustainability goals.
The tender, which included both hydrogen electric and battery electric buses, was initiated in July of this year. TMB's latest addition, the “standard hydrogen buses,” believed to be Solaris Urbino 12 Hydrogen models, are equipped with a 70 kW fuel cell, capable of storing up to 1,560 liters of hydrogen, providing an impressive 350-kilometer range. These fuel cell buses are complemented by a relatively small Solaris high-performance traction battery, offering additional power during peak demand periods.
With this purchase, TMB is set to increase the proportion of emissions-free buses in its fleet to 25 percent by 2024. Currently, eight hydrogen buses operate on line X1, and this procurement significantly bolsters their commitment to hydrogen fuel cell technology.
TMB has established itself as a pioneer in hydrogen adoption, with Spain's first fuel cell bus entering public service in April 2022. Additionally, the collaboration between TMB and Iberdrola led to the creation of Spain's inaugural hydrogen plant for public use.
While TMB embraces hydrogen technology, it's not the sole focus of their green transit initiatives. Substantial investments have been channeled into electric vehicles, in line with TMB's Strategic Plan 2025. An impressive total of 88 electric night buses, comprising 68 solo and 20 articulated electric buses, will be deployed between late 2023 and early 2024, with an investment of approximately €50 million.
These recent investments represent a significant financial commitment, approaching €410 million by 2026, making it the most substantial investment in TMB's bus fleet history.
In a related development, Solaris recently announced another substantial order for hydrogen fuel cell buses from Italy. Trasporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna (TPER), an Italian public transport operator, has placed an order for 130 Solaris Urbino 12 Hydrogen buses. The initial batch of 37 hydrogen buses is slated for delivery in 2024, with the remainder arriving in 2025 and 2026. An additional 90 hydrogen-powered buses are destined for Venice, further emphasizing the growing interest in hydrogen as a clean transit solution.