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Madrid’s fleet operators heavily rely on heavy-duty NGVs
čtvrtek, 27. března 2014
Madrid’s municipal services are true pioneers when it comes to including gas-powered vehicles in city fleets. The remarkable 790 buses, 468 waste collection trucks and 18 cranes powered by compressed Natural gas (CNG) make the Spanish capital a true global champion with regard to the use of heavy-duty NGVs.
In addition, The Madrid City Council has emphasised that it will further increase the share of NGVs within the running park.
Garbage collection fuelled entirely by Natural gas
Remarkably, Madrid’s whole fleet of currently 468 refuse trucks is running on Natural gas. The company in charge of the city’s garbage collection, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), started to introduce CNG trucks back in 1993. Supported strongly by the Spanish Administration, this development is the result of cooperation between FCC, Gas Natural Fenosa, the biggest Spanish gas provider, and truck manufacturer Iveco.
In a joint effort that started in 1993, the IVECO 240E26 6x2 RSU CNG (EEV), an innovative 3 axle truck with CNG engine, was developed. After a four year period of intensive testing with two prototypes - not only of the vehicle itself but also regarding the filling station, driver acceptance, maintenance and mechanics training - in 1997 the decision was made to include a significant number of the new truck model. The year 1998 saw the introduction of 85 units and after successfully operating on a large scale, in 2003 FCC purchased 266 Iveco trucks as part of its fleet renewal, thereby completely switching the fleet to Natural gas. Today the company operates 468 CNG-fuelled units.
Residents of the Spanish capital benefit from cleaner air and reduced noise levels ever since. The Iveco truck enables to save emission of 1,5t of NOx and some 2t of CO2 per year, when compared to Euro 3 diesel trucks and their respective emission levels at the time the gas trucks started operating. Furthermore, the utilisation of gas-powered vehicles produces significant savings in fuel cost.
The company responsible for Madrid's munipal transport is called Empresa Municipal de Transportes (EMT). EMT services 427 million passengers per year with its 216 transit lines. Among its fleet of 2000 vehicles are currently some 790 buses running on CNG. From 2005 to 2014 the number of EMT’s gas-powered vehicles increased almost five-fold from 165 to 791 units. And in line with the ambitions of Madrid’s authorities, EMT has already decided to further up the share of NGVs among its running park (currently almost 40%).
Among the buses, the fleet operator by now has also 23 hybrid vehicles circulating Madrid’s streets that are powered by CNG and electricity. Currently one of a kind in Europe, these buses were made by two Spanish manufacturers according to EMT's specifications and 13 out of 23 are plug-in units able to run 45 minutes in pure electrical mode, which is useful when operating in Madrid's city centre.
EMT furthermore has three additional dual-fuel buses servicing Madrid. Developed in 2013 in cooperation agreements with several companies, the recently introduced project converted conventional buses to dual-fuel operation using diesel and CNG. Now, these retrofitted vehicles are able to utilise both fuels simultaneously in the combustion process, with CNG reaching up to 50 percent in the mix, thus contributing to reduction of operating costs and pollutant emissions. A list of all bus models operated by EMT on Madrid’s streets can be found here.
Natural gas as a fuel in the urban environment
Communities worldwide are increasingly aware of the substantial benefits provided by using Natural gas as the immediate alternative to conventional fuels, as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and significantly improves air quality. NGVs have uniquely low emissions of toxic or carcinogenic substances, almost zero particulate emissions, no emissions of reactive hydrocarbons, as well as reduced NOx emissions, in particular NO2.
In addition, reduced noise levels compared to diesel engines make it an ideal motor fuel for transport in urban environments. Methane as a fuel also contributes to low carbon cities via the increased use of biomethane-powered NGVs, including urban buses and (garbage) trucks or any other type of public or commercial light and heavy duty vehicle.
Source: Madrid City Council, FCC, Case Study: CNG trucks in urban garbage collection, EMT Madrid, GASNAM, NGVA Europe
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