Project stories

Reducing public transport emissions with electric buses: the ATM Milan "plan"

The project in brief

Reducing Public Transport Emissions with Electric Buses: ATM Milano's Plan

The story of the project

On 25th March 2018, the first electric bus entered circulation in Milan: it was purchased by ATM thanks to the resources of the national cohesion policy, as part of a project for the large-scale experimentation of zero-emission vehicles which is aimed at a long-term plan to replace all diesel-powered vehicles. In total, 42 vehicles were purchased between 2018 and 2021, thanks to the funds of the PSC Città metropolitana di Milano.

The intervention is part of a plan that ATM defines as "Full Electric" and plans to reach a fleet of 1200 electric buses in 2030. As of October 2023, ATM has 210 electric buses in circulation, which will become around 250 by the end of the year. The company - controlled by the Municipality of Milan - develops 70% of the entire public transport service with certified electricity coming from completely renewable sources.

An electric bus in front of the Lambrate railway station
An electric bus in front of the Lambrate railway station
- © ATM

The plan includes an overall investment of 1.5 billion euros for new vehicles and infrastructure. It aims for a complete conversion to electric of the entire bus fleet consisting of 1,200 vehicles. This will also translate into a reduction in diesel consumption by 30 million liters per year and the reduction of CO2 emissions by 75 thousand tonnes per year.

The replacement of vehicles powered by fossil fuels started from lines 42, 45, 51, 54, 60, 81, 82, 84, 86, 88, reducing pressure and emissions in peripheral areas, those that suffer the most negatives of traffic. Line 42, for example, is the one that connects the Bicocca district to the Central Station. The 82, however, connects the Bovisasca district to the Piazzale Maciachini metro.

Starting from the interventions in the San Donato depot, the first to be converted in 2018 for the management of electric buses, the company has installed around 250 "plug-in" columns.

Atm has installed 14 hi-tech chargers, advanced and technologically advanced stations for the rapid charging of e-buses, at the terminus of Viale Zara, Piazza 4 Novembre and Lambrate station. Recharging occurs quickly and easily: the bus is positioned under the pantograph which, through the Wi-Fi control, connects to the vehicle to refuel in 5/8 minutes.

The coach depot in San Donato Milanese with the electric chargers
The coach depot in San Donato M. with the electric chargers
- © ATM

Atm, which is the main consumer of electricity in Milan, has been purchasing only energy from renewable sources for 5 years: as part of the Full Electric plan, however, it is making direct investments for the self-production of electricity. As of October 2023, 11 thousand square meters of surface area will be used for photovoltaic systems with an installed power of approximately 2 MW.

Meanwhile, in August 2023 was closed the public tender for the purchase of another 260 new electric buses, 12 and 18 metres long. The total investment is 205 million euros. The transition to full electric continues.