Spain’s first Alstom APTIS electric bus in regular service started operation in the small town of Aranjuéz, 45 km south of the capital Madrid, on 3 February 2021. It is also the first 100% electric bus of the consortium for regional transport in the Greater Madrid area (Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid). The innovative vehicle is operating on municipal line 2 along with two diesel buses. The concessionaire of the city bus service is Grupo AISA.
With a total length of 12 metres, the Aptis is considerably longer than the buses usually in service on this line. Its design, however, with wheels mounted on the outer ends of the body and its all-wheel drive allows the vehicle to manage the very tight curves and turns of all the narrow streets of the UNECSO World Heritage city of Aranjuéz. The wheelbase is an impressive 10.4 m and the front and rear overhangs are only 80 cm each. The turning circle is 21 m. The all-wheel steering also allows the vehicle to pull up to roadside stops in a space-saving manner. With its capacity of 96 passengers and the three wide doors, the vehicle offers a comfortable interior design and a convenient boarding for the passengers. At the same time, ticket control by the driver, who sits in a closed cabin, is no longer provided. The vehicle in Aranjuez is part of the series production of the APTIS, which slightly differs in its exterior design from the pre-series vehicle used for test purposes about a year ago (see: https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/the-first-alstom-aptis-ebus-for-spain/).
The lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries with a joint capacity of 350 kWh allow for a range of approximately 200 km, charging is done overnight at the depot. The charging station at the depot is already designed for additional ebuses in the future.
The Aptis was on test at various other locations around the country; currently, test runs are taking place in the city of Zaragoza.