UK bus operator Ensign Bus have recently taken delivery of six new Volvo B5LH hybrid buses with Wrightbus bodywork, for use on local services in the Thurrock area, northeast of London.
Ensign Bus Engineering Director, Brian Longley outlined the Essex company’s plans, “We’ve been keen to invest in hybrid technology for a while and the Volvo hybrid driveline with the Wrightbus bodywork provides a really nice combination.
“The new vehicles are going to be employed on our local Thurrock routes and we wanted them to be as environmentally friendly and fuel efficient as possible, without compromising on driveability. Volvo’s parallel drive system was very appealing and we’re looking forward to placing the new vehicles into operation.”
Ensign Bus’ new Volvo B5LHs use parallel hybrid architecture to achieve outstanding fuel savings. The innovative parallel system combines the power of a 4.8 litre diesel engine with an electric motor, which can be used independently or in combination.
Energy is recovered as the vehicle brakes, storing it in the on-board battery for use later in the electric motor. When the battery is sufficiently charged, the diesel engine can disengage when the vehicle is at a bus stop or in stationary traffic – offering substantial fuel savings for operators.
The new vehicles were officially handed over to Ensign Bus Chairman, Peter Newman by Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Phil Fletcher.
“The outstanding fuel efficiency of these hybrid vehicles was a determining factor in this sale,” explained Phil Fletcher. “There is a real interest in the industry as to how Volvo hybrid development has progressed and this sale represents further evidence of that.”
“We have an excellent relationship with Ensign Bus and they are currently running ten of our B9TL buses, but this was an opportunity for us to showcase our hybrid product and I’m sure that they will be delighted with the vehicles.”
Those sentiments were also echoed by Ensign Bus’ Brian Longley, “We have a long-standing relationship with Volvo Bus and with the local MC Group dealership. We’ve had a large number of Volvo manufactured vehicles in the past and it was a pleasure working with Volvo Bus Regional Sales Manager, Phil Fletcher on the purchase of these latest vehicles.”
The Ensign Bus delivery represents further good news for the Volvo Bus hybrid vehicle programme following the company’s achievement of the Green Award during the Euro Bus Expo Show in Birmingham in November, and the international local public transport environmental award, EBUS Award, in Germany earlier this fall.
Volvo Bus B5LH handover