Barcelona launches first totally electric tour bus

The bus is silent and can travel 170km after being fully charged

All tourist buses will have zero emissions in three years (by Jordi Bataller)
All tourist buses will have zero emissions in three years (by Jordi Bataller) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

November 12, 2019 02:33 PM

The first Spanish 100% electric dual-lane tourist bus has been launched in Barcelona. The new vehicle is completely silent, and it is estimated that, when it has been fully charged, it can travel 170km, or for 13 hours uninterrupted. 

The bus is equipped with 360-degree vision cameras and USB chargers in all seats. 

Vice president of Mobility, Transport and Sustainability of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Antoni Poveda, has said that ''the electric motor of the bus will mean saving 45 tons of Carbon Dioxide.''

Poveda foresees that in three years, all tourist buses in the Catalan capital will have ''zero emissions.''

Each bus will cost €650,000 to construct, double that of the conventional vehicle, and will have 76 seats, down from the usual 88 due to the installation of batteries on the ground floor of the coach. 

Councilor for Mobility in the Barcelona City Council, Rosa Alarcón, has expressed her excitement over the new vehicles. ''I am thinking mainly of street residents where noise problems are an issue. This will help to increase coexistence between tourism and the locals.''

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona is exercising a renewal of travel in Barcelona, promoting low and zero-emission vehicles. Poveda recalled that between 2016 and 2019, they renewed a total of 450 buses and that in the next four years they intend to renew another 500 more. 

2020 marks the start of a 95km² low emission zone, something Poveda has said will affect 135,000 polluting vehicles that will not be able to circulate, and hopes to ''reduce pollution by up to 20% in the metropolitan area of Barcelona.''

Reducing carbon footprint for Barcelona's most polluting sector

The introduction of electric buses in Barcelona is a step in the right direction in reducing the carbon footprint of the industry's most polluting sector. 

An incredibly popular tourist destination, visitors in Barcelona contribute greatly to the climate emergency within the city. However, the biggest problem is believed to come from cruise ships, rather than street vehicles.  

Indeed, Barcelona was named the number one most polluted port in Europe by cruise ships, with the highest presence of sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide, two of the biggest pollutants that come from large cruise ships.