Aduna, 23 November 2020
Irizar e-mobility was awarded the “Made in Euskadi 2019” Prize at the Basque Business Night Gala held at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao on Monday, November 23rd. The award was granted by the Basque Business and Society Foundation with the sponsorship of Kutxabank, in the presence of a limited capacity of 200 representatives from companies and institutions.
Rafael Sterling, CEO of the Irizar Group, thanked for this prestigious award “It a pride and great satisfaction for us because this award is the recognition of the great strategic and technological leap made by Irizar in recent years, positioning us among the best European independent manufacturers in the sector……. We will continue to generate wealth and employment, placing customers at the heart of our activities, with the necessary flexibility to provide maximum value and meet their needs, dedicating efforts to innovation, technological development and R&D&I, always under the premise of achieving the highest level of satisfaction for all of the people who work or collaborate with the Irizar Group. Together, we will continue to generate and develop new Made in Euskadi projects, spreading the Basque industrial seal worldwide”.
The Irizar e-mobility business project was born at the end of 2016. However, its strategic boost came in 2011, when the Irizar Group, anticipating the movements in the sector, created the electromobility business area.
Although we are talking about a very short period of time, it is not even a decade since the conception of Irizar’s idea of building 100% electric and “zero” emission mobility solutions. Today, its Basque industrial stamp is visible in cities such as Genoa, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Orleans, Marseille, Amiens, Côte Basque-Adour, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga… as well as San Sebastian, Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is worth highlighting ‘Basque industry’, because the project was conceived with an ‘integral’ vision, that is, assuming the development of all of the elements that make up the mobility network; and, furthermore, doing so with the Irizar Group’s own technology, which has meant years of intense development work.
In barely three years, Irizar e-mobility has been able to increase its turnover from 11 to 75 million Euros; go from zero to 240 people on the payroll and generate employment in the surrounding area, weaving a network of collaborators and suppliers as an unavoidable commitment of the Irizar Group to generate wealth and employment at a local level. Its vehicles circulate in eight European countries. It has a production capacity of 1,000 vehicles per year and its objective is to grow and position itself in European markets. The production rate has just increased in October and the expectations for 2021 are even greater.
Irizar e-mobility has become one of the best examples of the Basque industrial network. It has anticipated the challenges of the future with strategies that are based on a green and sustainable economy, and with the development of a highly complex technical, aesthetic, and comfort product with high added value. A unique commitment that has passed different milestones: in 2011, the electromobility business area was created, combining the knowledge and experience of all of the Group’s companies; in 2012, it became part of the European ZeUs Project, conceived to boost this business in the EU; just one year later, Irizar built its first 12-metre long bus. In 2014, Irizar becomes the first European manufacturer in the sector to deliver two vehicles to the city of Barcelona within the ZeEUS European project; in the same year, the first electric bus is presented in the city of San Sebastian.
From that moment on, it began its intense career to provide complete mobility systems to cities and citizens; both 100% electric buses and the main infrastructure for charging, traction and energy storage. All of them designed and manufactured with 100% of the Group’s technology.
2016 also represents a giant step forward for Irizar. The first articulated bus is manufactured and a contract is obtained for the first urban electromobility line in France, in Marseille, with six units. One year later, the Irizar ie tram was launched on the market. At the same time, its bus models received awards such as “Bus of the Year in Spain” and “Ecological Industrial Vehicle in Spain”.
In 2018, Irizar inaugurated the first European electromobility plant exclusively dedicated to manufacturing 100% electric, zero-emission buses and short distance trucks, charging infrastructures and its own batteries. The construction project involved an investment of 75 million euros. It has a built surface area of 18,000 square metres on a four-hectare of land which includes test tracks and test benches. In addition, this plant obtained the A energy efficiency certificate, the highest rating in Europe at the time of the inauguration.
In 2019, it presented the Irizar ie truck, a zero-emission truck that is intended, in principle, for waste collection. This project has already received numerous awards, which once again places Irizar at the forefront of the sector, aligning itself with urban sustainability developments and promoting both local and European innovation capacities.
Firmly committed to sustainability and in order to minimise its environmental impact, the company has invested in the largest solar photovoltaic park in the Basque Country, which has earned it the title of green energy plant. In addition, Irizar e-mobility offers a second life for its batteries thanks to a collaboration agreement signed with Ibil, which allows the batteries to be reused as an energy storage element.
This entire process has been made possible thanks to the intense efforts made in innovation and technological and R&D&I development. These solid foundations provide the necessary agility and capacity to provide turnkey solutions and services that are personalised and adapted to each of the specific needs required by cities, operators and passengers.
Irizar e-mobility also designs, manufactures and assembles its own “battery packs”, which now exceed 40MWh and have become the state company with the greatest capacity for supplying energy storage systems. This activity is being promoted not only in the sustainable mobility sector, but also in other areas and stationary applications such as energy generation through renewable sources or network stabilisation.
It is currently involved in large-scale European projects for the future of the electrification of cities and public passenger transport, such as energy storage, autonomous driving, energy efficiency, charging systems, connectivity – Big Data or digital transformation.
And all of this, without forgetting the contribution of top-level Basque technology and research centres and the institutional support of the Basque Government and Provincial Councils to continue feeding a reference industrial network “made in Euskadi” that serves the needs of Europe and the world to strengthen its economy and the generation of local employment.
In summary, Irizar e-mobility is positioned as a solid technological leader on a global level that offers turnkey solutions and promotes sustainable mobility and the use of buses as the best alternative for the future, contributing to the fact that public transport continues to be safe, efficient, connected, and free of contaminating and noise emissions. A project that places Basque industry in a leading position in the world of urban electromobility and that will continue to commit to local talent that feeds market development strategies and R&D&I needs.