17 new hybrid buses, purchased from Volvo Buses, began serving the western districts of Oslo, Norway on 6th October. Nettbuss Øst is the operator. The Nettbuss Group now has a total of 43 Volvo hybrids in its fleet of buses. Norway is Volvo Bus Corporation's largest market for complete hybrid buses, with more than 80 vehicles in service.
“The procurement guidelines issued by the transport authorities stipulated hybrid buses with good environmental credentials as a requirement. Since our experience with Volvo’s hybrid buses has been positive to date, it was natural for us to look to Volvo again,” says Per Nilsen, Regional Director at Nettbuss Øst.
Nettbuss has been operating Volvo’s hybrid buses in the Norwegian cities of Trondheim and Hamar for a number of years.
Svein Ekholt, Technical Manager at Nettbuss Øst comments, "They certainly deliver what they promise. Our hybrid buses are just as reliable as the diesel buses, but they consume roughly one litre less per ten kilometres.”
Nettbuss Øst has opted to contract out maintenance and service operations to Volvo Bus Corporation rather than doing it themselves.
Per Nilsen explains:
“Hybrid technology is relatively new and requires special skills and it is therefore reassuring for us to have this service contract with Volvo Buses.”
The new hybrid buses are called Volvo 7900 Hybrid and are the second generation hybrids from Volvo. Compared to conventional diesel buses, these consume up to 39 percent less fuel. At the bus stops, the diesel engine shuts down and the bus is powered by quiet, emission-free electricity. The 17 buses that have been brought into service in Oslo have also been customised in a number of ways, one of which is the installation of an electrically-heated windscreen.
“Low environmental impact and low operating costs are becoming increasingly important factors, making our hybrid buses very competitive in the market. Including this order, we have delivered a total of 80 completely hybrid-powered buses in Norway, which is more than any other country,” says Sven-Åge Løkken at Volvo Buses Norway.
Volvo Buses is the market leader for hybrid buses in Europe and has supplied about 1,200 hybrid buses to customers in more than 20 countries.