Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) has increased the number of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to 376 units, 35% of all vehicles that serve the city lines and ten surrounding towns. The number has been swelled by the arrival of 80 new CNG buses throughout 2011, consisting of 52 standard models and 28 articulated, which have replaced diesel buses. The incorporation of natural gas buses into the fleet is in accordance with an agreement between TMB and Gas Natural Fenosa to reduce emissions from surface transport and improve air quality in the metropolitan area.
The agreement between TMB and Gas Natural Fenosa provides for 204 more CNG buses to be added to the fleet by 2015, nearly half of the total fleet.
Under the same agreement, Gas Natural Fenosa and TMB are developing a pioneering project for development of a hybrid natural gas-electric bus. The presumption is that the combination of a low emission engine, such as CNG, electric motors, increased efficiency and no direct emissions must result in a vehicle of the highest environmental quality. The prototype, built on of an existing bus, is testing the adopted technical solutions aimed at reducing emissions and fuel consumption. At the end of the testing period, which lasts until early 2012, the companies will evaluate the feasibility of promoting mass production.
The new buses meet Euro 6 requirements that come into effect in 2015.
(This article compiled using information from a Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona press release)