Barcelona Trials CNG Hybrid Prototype Bus; Builds CNG Fleet

| Spain, Barcelona

TMB and Gas Natural Fenosa trial the CNG hybrid in Barcelona.

Almost 50% of TMB’s fleet of 1,080 buses will be CNG-powered by 2015

Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) and Gas Natural Fenosa are trialling a new hybrid bus prototype with electric and natural gas engines, a pilot scheme under an agreement signed last April between TMB and Gas Natural Fenosa to reduce emissions from buses, with the aim of improving air quality in Barcelona and the metropolitan area. The prototype is to be incorporated provisionally into the TMB fleet and Gas Natural Fenosa will study the benefits in terms of reducing energy consumption and emissions and thus its viability for future use.

The companies have worked together on developing the prototype, built based on the CNG-propelled bus currently operating in the TMB fleet, in order to verify the technical solutions adopted, emissions reductions and, in particular, the fuel savings achieved with this new model.

Gas Natural Fenosa estimates that hybrid technology will enable a 20% to 30% reduction in energy consumption and emissions, compared to a non-hybrid bus of similar characteristics.

Under the same agreement, the companies recently presented 31 new Iveco CNG-propelled buses, with which TMB began the renewal of the fleet planned for 2011. By the end of the year 35% of the fleet will run on CNG, which is less polluting than diesel. The new Citelis model vehicles feature mechanical parts by Irisbus Iveco and bodies by Castrosua and Tata Hispano.

The renewal of the fleet planned for 2011 involves the incorporation of 80 vehicles altogether, all compressed natural gas, some standard models and some articulated. They will replace 80 14-year-old diesel buses, which will achieve a reduction in emissions of 346 tonnes nitrogen oxide a year. The agreement between TMB and Gas Natural Fenosa anticipated an increase in the CNG fleet by 204 buses by 2015. This will take the number to 500, almost half of the total, which is 1,080.

With the incorporation of these 31 buses, TMB reaffirms its commitment to compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel that is more environmentally friendly, thanks to its lower emission levels, below those established by the Euro 6 standard, which will enter into force in 2015.

TMB lists the main benefits offered by CNG engines:

  • They reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 90%, particulate matter by almost 100% and carbon monoxide emissions by 20%
  • Almost odourless exhaust fumes
  • Low noise emission levels
  • No ash or solid residue generated

This article compiled using information from TMB press releases.

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