The vehicle will be tested in the city over the next three weeks and will provide service mainly on line 23, with the capacity to operate with double buses.
In her speech, the municipal councilor for Mobility of the Zaragoza City Council, Natalia Chueca, recalled the city government’s commitment to sustainable urban mobility, where all the buses to be incorporated into the fleet will be electric. This is a commitment to make the city climate neutral, said Chueca, commenting that there are currently four zero-emission buses, 111 hybrids and the rest, 352, diesel.
Regarding its design, the Councilor explained that this 100% electric vehicle has aesthetic attributes that “combine the advantages of the streetcar -large capacity, ease of access and interior circulation- with the flexibility of the bus”. This model is available in versions from 12 to 18 meters articulated, with a maximum capacity of 145 people. Its batteries are developed and manufactured by Irizar Lithium-Ion. The Irizar ie tram offers a design based on a “minimalist” aesthetic language, without ornamentation, and in which all its features respond to specific functional aspects, making it possible to create an identity and image that is easily recognizable by users.
According to Chueca, accessibility, safety, traffic flow and passenger comfort are “decisive” features in a “bright, comfortable, spacious, pleasant and safe” passenger compartment. In addition, at the request of the DGT, they are equipped with a safety system for detecting vulnerable users, i.e. drivers will receive a signal to warn of the passage of cyclists or pedestrians close to the vehicle, in order to avoid accidents.
To achieve a streetcar aesthetic, care has been taken with details such as the hubcaps and even the rear-view mirrors, which have been replaced by cameras that project their images on two screens located inside the vehicle on each side of the driver. The ie tram has an integral low floor, signaling of the seats reserved for wheelchairs and/or baby carriages, and audible information about the request to stop. The seating arrangement inside the vehicle allows passengers to enter and exit the stops and the interior circulation to run “very smoothly”.
To achieve this objective, the Government of Zaragoza has approved this Wednesday a contractual modification with the company Avanza, concessionaire of urban bus transport in the city. This change will make possible the incorporation of 68 new electric buses to the service. Of these, 51 will be of standard size, of 12 meters, and the rest, 17, will be articulated, of 18 meters. They will be progressively incorporated into the service starting in the last half of next year.
The general manager of Avanza, Valentín Alonso, considered that this is the “largest electromobility project in Spain to date” and “one of the most ambitious at European level”. “Implementing 70 electric buses at the same time, which is almost 25 percent of the fleet, is not only replacing diesel vehicles with electric propulsion vehicles, but it is a very important engineering project that no one has had the capacity or the courage to tackle so far”, added Alonso, valuing that this action will mean a change in the daily life of the people of Zaragoza.
The Mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, has also expressed his opinion along the same lines, highlighting that the Aragonese capital “has gone from being the last big city to incorporate electric buses to its fleet to being the Spanish city of reference in the transformation of urban mobility”.