Future Functional Charging Unit for Vitoria-Gasteiz' Intelligent Electric Buses. Source: Vitoria Gasteiz City Council

New Plans for future depot and charging unit for Vitoria-Gasteiz' Smart Electric Buses released

24 Feb 2020

Big plans require big efforts: Inter-institutional collaboration fosters the construction of BEI's (Smart Electric Bus) Functional Charging Unit. The works to build the Functional Charging Unit will mean an investment of 5.6 million, which only could be afforded in collaboration by several institutions.

Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council, Basque Government and the Provincial Council of Alava will collaborate to build BEI's Functional Charging Unit. This slow-charging system will require an investment of 5.6 million Euros. Of this amount, the City Council and the Provincial Council will pay 17%, 1,032,924.70 Euros, each; and the Basque Government 65%, 3,836,577.48 Euros.

 The City Mayor, Gorka Urtaran, underlined the relevance of interinstitutional collaboration and recalled that the BEI would be ready by summer 2021. "It will be a revolutionary breakthrough for public transport in the city", explained the Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz. 

 On May 10th, 2018, the Cooperation Agreement between the Basque Government and Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council to complement the implementation of the BEI in the city of Gasteiz was signed. The purpose of this agreement was to promote the implementation of several complementary actions to foster the introduction of electrification in urban public transport in Vitoria Gasteiz. One of these actions was to draft the construction project for the bus depot where the slow-charging system (Functional Charging Unit) will be located.

Picture 1: Infograph of future Functional Charging Unit for Vitoria-Gasteiz' Smart Electric Buses.
Source: Vitoria Gasteiz City Council.

The construction of the new depot and mechanic workshops for both BEI and regular bus fleet will be undertaken in phases. First phase, will include the construction of the Functional Charging Unit and, in order to implement this action, the three institutions will seal the abovementioned complementary agreement to finance the project, which will enable the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz to launch along 2020 a public tender for the construction works.

 Of the 52 000 m2 to be occupied by the new depot, 16 000 m2 will be for the BEI's Functional Charging Unit, which includes the infrastructure needed to ensure the operation of the Smart Electric Bus. The facilities will include parking spaces and canopies for the 13 electric buses, mechanical workshop, vehicle washing site and staff’s changing rooms.

 In a later stage, the construction of the remaining facilities, including the new administrative building of TUVISA (Municipal Urban Transport Company), will be undertaken on the same plot. The area, sized for a total of 110 buses and considering the future electrification of the entire fleet, will have a 10,029 m2 canopy with photovoltaic panels installed on top to maximise energy efficiency of the site.

Picture 2: Infograph of future depot and facilities for Vitoria-Gasteiz' BEIs (Smart Electric Buses).
Source: Vitoria Gasteiz City Council.

 Apart from the new depot, the works of the civil infrastructure have already started in the second half of August 2019 after the City of Vitoria-Gasteiz signed the contract with IRIZAR, the company which will be in charge of the deployment of the BEIs (Smart Electric Buses), end of May,. It is expected to see the first buses hitting the road on test drives  next summer 2020.