Plans in Milan require an investment of 1.2 billion euros until 2030
Transport authorities and purchase and management of e-bus fleets

ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milano) is the operator in Milan and is also active in other cities in Europe, such as Copenhagen. In addition to buses and trams ATM also operates Italy's largest metro network in Milan. Every year ATM transports around 800 million travellers in 96 cities over a network of 1500 kilometres in total. With this, ATM achieves a turnover of one billion euros. But ATM, for example, also manages the 'low emission zone' in Milan, including the associated pricing technique.

15,000 tons of CO2

In Milan, seventy percent of all public transport consists of subways and trams in other words, electric transportation. ATM CEO Arrigo Giana says that because of this 'only' thirty percent of the public transport in Milan needs to be electrified. To this end, Milan has developed the City Urban Mobility Plan, within the framework of various European policy plans. It has been decided that the entire bus fleet will become electric. This means that the number of e-buses that now stands at 27 must increase to 215 in 2022. The same applies to hybrid buses of which Milan now has 10 and must grow to 295. The number of trolley buses must quadruple to 80. According to the calculations, this will lead to a saving of 6.5 million litres of diesel per year and 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2022. The city chooses to have the hybrid buses phased out by 2030 and have them replaced by only battery buses. So hybrid buses will be purchased in the coming years, simply because they are technically easier to integrate into the fleet, according to Giana. In 2030 there will be at least 1200 full-electric buses in Milan.

Underground depots

Investments are also being made in eight 'opportunity charging stations' and three new bus depots including charging infrastructure. The three existing depots are being modernized. These four new depots must be strategically placed to be able to construct the electrical infrastructure and they must be easily accessible for buses. According to Giana, that is a complicated task. All the more so since ATM, together with the Polytechnic University in Milan, has developed an underground solution. The depots go two floors into the ground. A park is then laid out on the roof for the local residents. The concept has been developed completely sustainably. The buses are parked and charged fully automatically. "Nice, but it is expensive," he says with a smile. "That while now an electric bus is twice as expensive as a diesel, and with these depots ..."

Sustainability

The underlying idea is that ATM does not want to burden the residents of Milan with pantograph stations in front of their houses. "That would not improve our sustainable image." He adds diplomatically, that developments like these require the right political decisions. “It requires an investment of 1.2 billion euros until 2030. Up to 2022 an investment of 465 million euros: 210 million for the e-buses, 234 million for the depots and 21 million for the systems. Giana says it will be a challenge. Because in addition to these investments, the excise duty on electricity in Italy is high, about half the purchase price. ATM has decided to purchase only electricity from renewable sources. It already pays around 50 million euros for electricity, half of which goes to the Italian treasury. It is therefore not surprising that he is addressing the Italian government and the EU to reduce this excise duty, so that more money is released for investment.

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