Volvo Buses’ new electric bus
is now being tested for the first time in regular traffic in Gothenburg in
Sweden. Ahead of its official premiere on June 15 there remain some
technological fine-tuning and driver training. What is more, it will be shown
at the renowned public-transport fair in Milan, according to a press release
issued by Volvo Buses.
Electric buses will soon be in
action in Sweden. Mid-June 2015 will see the start of traffic on route 55
between Lindholmen and Chalmers/Johanneberg in Gothenburg. This new route will
be served by three all-electric buses and seven electric hybrids, all from
Volvo Buses. The vehicles are equipped with battery packs that can be
quick-charged with renewable electricity at their end terminals. Energy
consumption of the electric buses is about 80 per cent lower than that of
corresponding diesel buses. The new route is the result of a cooperative
venture known as ElectriCity, which develops, demonstrates and evaluates
innovative solutions for future sustainable public transport.
Before it enters regular
operations Volvo’s new electric bus will also be shown at the large UITP
public-transport show in Milan on June 8-10. UITP brings together public
transport purchasers from all over the world who come to see the latest
developments in the industry.
“Right now we are carrying out
final testing to ensure everything works just as it should when regular traffic
gets under way. This marks a major milestone in our development of new
solutions for electrified buses. Quiet and entirely exhaust-free operation will
contribute both to a better urban environment and reduced climate impact, while
passengers get a more pleasant ride,” says Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo
Passenger wishes have also
shaped the design of the new electric buses in several ways.
“For instance, all boarding
and exiting is quick and convenient via an extra-wide door opening with a low
entry in the middle of the bus. Here there is a large area with a low, flat
floor, to make things easier for passengers with child buggies or wheelchairs.”
Volvo’s designers aimed to
give the bus a modern and welcoming atmosphere. The interior is bright and airy
and there are electrical power sockets for passengers to recharge their mobile
phones. The bus features onboard Wi-Fi. Although the bus is just 10.7 metres
long (more than a metre shorter than a conventional bus) it can carry up to 86
passengers. The central driver’s seat contributes to high passenger capacity.
The Volvo Buses range of
electrified buses includes the previously launched Volvo 7900 Hybrid, which has
been a major commercial success with more than 2000 units sold, and the Volvo
7900 Electric Hybrid which was launched in autumn 2014. Unlike these two, the
new electric bus is a concept vehicle. Series production of all-electric Volvo
buses is scheduled for 2017.
Traffic with electric buses on
route 55 in Gothenburg is a result of ElectriCity. This is a cooperative
venture between the research fraternity, industry and city planners, for the
purpose of developing, demonstrating and evaluating next-generation sustainable
public transport. Among the participants are Volvo Group, Chalmers, the Swedish
Energy Agency, Region Västra Götaland, Västtrafik, Keolis, the Municipality of
Gothenburg, Göteborg Energi, Lindholmen Science Park and Johanneberg Science
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