Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: April 22, 2024
Inés Platini
By Inés Platini
Spain flag

Scan of TMB eBuses strategy: How is the electrification of the Triangle depot progressing?

It is anticipated that this infrastructure will have the capacity to accommodate approximately 300 electric buses, enabling TMB Barcelona to fulfill its sustainability plan. Below, all the details.

According to a report, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) currently operates 134 electric buses and eight hydrogen ones.

However, their plans for 2024 include concluding the year with 232 eVehicles and 44 hydrogen ones.

What is the strategic plan for eBuses? To continue electrifying their depots further.

In dialogue with Mobility Portal España, Israel Vallejo, Head of the Electric Vehicles Department, focuses specifically on Triangle.

Israel Vallejo, Head of the Electric Vehicles Department at TMB.

This charging area has “a capacity for approximately 300 vehicles.”

Going into detail, the infrastructure features multiple pantographs of 50 kilowatts (kW) and 150 kW for overnight charging.

The plan involves harnessing the energy generated by trains and the metro network to power bus charging at a lower cost.

Not only that, but they are also initiating a Smart Charging process.

This system allows defining how, when, and in what manner it is most cost-effective to recharge a zero-emission vehicle.

We are working on integrating our chargers and infrastructure with bus services, with the aim of monitoring the charging status of each vehicle, as well as scheduling its departure and arrival,” Vallejo explains.

Specifically, this management method will include software on TMB’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, capable of managing 67 chargers at Triangle, 21 at Zona Franca, 28 in Horta, and nine on the street.

Smart Charging will efficiently distribute vehicle charging to avoid power peaks.

It will also optimize the availability of electrical power in the depot to maximize its use and achieve economic savings in terms of contracted electrical power.

This enables buses to not charge at their maximum capacity but at a lower level, automatically managing vehicle charging and prioritizing those that need to enter service early according to the schedule.

“We are now exploring the possibility of including additional vehicle information along with the charger, such as battery temperature, among other aspects,” Vallejo explains.

In this regard, he states that this project is still in an initial stage.

We are encountering some communication issues between the vehicle and the equipment because the regulations are still not very well defined,” he emphasizes.

How many buses will the Triangle depot be able to accommodate?

Within this infrastructure, TMB has approximately 50 electric buses, with an expected “expansion to almost 200.”

The forecast for this year is to incorporate around 60 more vehicles into the fleet, adding to the current 136, in addition to those still to be received from 2023.

“The goal is to reach between 300 and 400 electric vehicles by 2026 and have the Triangle depot fully electrified,” Vallejo indicates.

Considering that the depot has space for 300 buses, the construction of another one that can accommodate approximately 100 additional buses is planned.

And TMB is not only focused on electrifying the depots.

In addition, they have installed more charging points on the street for opportunistic charging cars “and we will continue to expand gradually.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the eBuses will charge overnight to be ready in the morning and to meet their 18 hours of work.

One of our challenges is to ensure that vehicles can operate for 18 hours in the summer, taking into account the use of air conditioning,” Israel Vallejo anticipates.

Triangle depot of TMB.

What is TMB’s sustainability strategy for 2024?

The transportation company plans for 27 per cent of its fleet to consist of electric and hydrogen-powered cars, with 23 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.

This will surpass the 26 per cent of non-hybrid compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, positioning eBuses and H2O-powered ones as the preferred options within TMB‘s fleets.

This progressive move towards sustainability will continue until 2030, according to the company’s projections.

By that year, electric vehicles are expected to represent the majority, specifically 58 per cent of the total fleet, while 14 per cent will be powered by H2O.

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