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Clean Transport

Fuenlabrada, Spain, Is Buying Electric Buses

EMT Fuenlabrada S.A., a company that provides transit services for the city it is named after, recently agreed to purchase four Urbino 12 electric buses from Solaris.

“I am very proud that another city is opting to develop zero-emission transport by choosing Solaris vehicles. The Urbino 12 electric bus is the most popular vehicle in our electric offering. No local emissions and great operability are the chief advantages that make this model the most common choice of urban transport operators throughout Europe. I am really glad that the residents of Fuenlabrada will soon see for themselves the benefits it offers,” said Javier Calleja, CEO of Solaris.

This purchase will put Fuenlabrada among 30 other towns and cities in Spain using Solaris vehicles for public transport. The Urbino 12 buses will have room for up to 70 people, with up to 21 sitting. They’ll also have comfortable air conditioner systems with the latest in virus filtering technology, so people will be both happy and healthy during rides on the routes these new buses are serving. The buses will be delivered by May 2023.

This isn’t Solaris’ first rodeo. It has been working in Spain to expand clean transit options since 2010, and has delivered over 500 Solaris buses to Spanish cities. 3/4 of its vehicles have been zero emission or low emission vehicles.

Solaris Is Taking A Diverse Approach To Clean Buses

Poking around the Solaris website, I can see that they aren’t just doing electric buses. For a variety of reasons, different countries and cities have different ideas about how they’ll achieve their environmental goals. Here at CleanTechnica, we generally aren’t big fans of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but if that’s the only way a city or a country is going to clean up, it’s better than leaving diesel engines clattering away hauling less than half a bus of people most of the time.

Here’s a little of what Solaris is doing. In Cracow, Poland, it has been delivering electric buses just like it did in Fuenlabrada, Spain. But, in Konin, they’ve been buying Solaris hydrogen buses. Cologne, Germany is also doing the same thing. Madrid’s going with electric.

You’re probably seeing the pattern here: there’s a patchwork of who’s going with hydrogen, who’s going with battery-electric, and who’s doing hybrids or taking other approaches to reducing their footprints. While a patchwork of who does what would be disastrous for the civilian transport market (because you couldn’t get fuel or a charge in the next town), it isn’t a big deal for municipal buses. What the next town is running really doesn’t affect buses, as they usually don’t go to the next town.

Ideally, we’d like to see something different, but it also won’t be too hard for cities to switch to electric later. Once again, they’re not part of a wider network, so they can easily switch to BEV later if hydrogen proves to be too wasteful. We’ll probably see a number of jurisdictions choose different things for transit over time until they figure out what will work well for the rest of the century.

Featured image by Solaris.

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Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.


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