Catalonia to electrify seven bus lines by 2021

In line with the objectives of sustainable development of the Green Deal, the Catalan Department for Mobility and Transport and train operator FGC are working together to renew the fleet of seven bus lines to incorporate electric buses into their operation.

The project is a step forward for the decarbonisation and electrification of the interurban bus network and a clear commitment to sustainable and clean mobility.

Specifically, the proposal is based on renewing the current 12 buses for electric ones in the seven bus lines that are currently connecting different railway stations with the nearby urban and industrial environment.

The demand for the seven bus lines in 2019 was around 700,000 trips. In this way, a public-private collaboration that has made this plan possible, train-bus intermodality is encouraged, coordinating timetables and establishing quality links, while promoting the use of public transport.

Regarding the system of electrical supply of the buses, the Catalan government contemplates two options to apply according to the characteristics of the service and the model of exploitation of each bus line: nocturnal load in the depots with slow load, or a load of opportunity at the moment that the bus waits at the train station.

This action is innovative in terms of the incorporation of electric vehicles in the provision of interurban bus lines since, at present, the use of electric vehicles is mainly aimed at the provision of services in urban areas and, therefore, it is necessary to work with vehicle suppliers and operators to ensure that the chosen electric buses guarantee the autonomy and the most appropriate charging system depending on the specific characteristics of the route to be covered.

The forecast is to have the technical-economic studies closed before the end of 2020 in order to start buying the vehicles in 2021.