10/18/2013

Luxembourg test arena for a sustainable public transport system



by Press release

Volvo Buses, Sales-Lentz and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of Luxembourg as a test arena for a sustainable public transport system.

Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Bus Corporation, Wolfgang Schroeder, Managing Director, Sales-Lentz and High representatives from the Luxembourg authorities representing the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade and Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, ratified the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Busworld Exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium.

The MoU formalises the intention of a long-term partnership between the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade and Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures, Sales-Lentz and Volvo Buses. The sustainable mobility sector has been identified as one of the most promising sectors in Luxembourg’s strategy for the diversification and greening of the economy.

Håkan Agnevall, Volvo Bus Corporation, sees the agreement as a basis for long-term, trusting cooperation with Sales-Lentz and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg:

“We are proud that Luxembourg and Sales-Lentz have chosen us as their partner for the electric transportation future of Luxembourg. This cooperation shows that we can meet the complex requirements of cities, bus operators and passengers equally.”

The MoU is based on the testing of Volvo’s plug-in hybrid system. At the core of the agreement are potentially 12 Volvo Plug-in Hybrid buses, which will be bought and operated by Sales-Lentz. The buses will operate on existing bus lines in Luxembourg and the Greater Region and will be fully integrated into regular scheduled services as from 2015. The agreement also involves the setup of a charging infrastructure.

Moreover, the MoU comprises the set-up of a Training and Control Centre in Luxembourg. The competences of the Training and Control Centre are to include training of bus operators, as well as of maintenance, safety and rescue personnel. It is to function as an R&D centre and serve as a platform to develop new services in the field of vehicle, fleet and traffic management. The platform will be open to other relevant actors willing to join in. 

Sales-Lentz and Volvo Buses will gather and evaluate data with the key stakeholders during the test phase which will be used to develop new vehicle, fleet and traffic management services and to be integrated into a general Intelligent Transport System concept.

The delivery of the first six Volvo Plug-in Hybrids will take place in 2015. Six more vehicles are intended to be delivered in 2016.

Etienne Schneider, Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade, says on the agreement:

“Luxembourg is committed to innovation and our companies will be able to rely on our continued support when it comes to reducing the environmental footprint of their activities and moving towards sustainable business models. Sustainable mobility in general, and electromobility in particular, play an important role in Luxembourg’s energy policy and represent one of the key sectors of our economic development. The plug-in hybrid bus project fits well into the Grand-Duchy’s strategy and with Volvo and Sales-Lentz as innovative and competent partners, we are very confident that the project will be a success and are willing to support their efforts.”

Claude Wiseler, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures comments:

“Sustainability is a key element in Luxembourg’s strategy when it comes to mobility, within the country, but also with the border regions. The public transport system has a long history of supporting innovative and sustainable vehicles in its bus network. As an example, Luxembourg is proud to be running several hybrid buses throughout the country. We are now looking forward to introduce Volvo’s plug-in hybrid busses in our fleet. This plug-in hybrid bus project takes us a step further in our transport and environmental policy and represents a key factor to reduce CO2 emissions in passenger transport.”  

To Wolfgang Schroeder, Managing Director, Sales-Lentz, the agreement marks a further important step in the realization of the Sales-Lentz CSR strategy:

“We are very honoured that Volvo trusted us with the lead of this innovative and trend-setting project. Within our CSR Strategy the main goal consists in the reduction of our global carbon footprint. After three years of subsequent measuring we could notice a 6% diminution of CO2 emission, which we mainly credit to our Volvo 7900 hybrid fleet. We are now looking forward to measuring the impact of the coming Volvo plug-in hybrid.”

“Within the Volvo Group, not only is there major technical expertise but also extensive experience in developing efficient, safe and environmentally adapted transportation systems in cities. A breakthrough for electric vehicles will generate completely new opportunities for traffic and city planners to seriously take a step into the future and this is something that we want and can contribute to”, says Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Bus Corporation.

Volvo Buses is a world leader within hybrid technology, having delivered nearly 1,200 hybrid buses to 21 countries around the globe. The plug-in hybrids are based on Volvo Buses’ sales success, the Volvo 7900 Hybrid. The plug-in hybrids have been further developed, and enable recharging from electricity grids via a collector installed on the roof. The plug-in buses have a larger battery package, making it possible to drive up to 10 km at a time, quietly and free from emissions, using electricity. The batteries are charged at the bus terminus for between six and ten minutes.

Sales-Lentz, one of the largest public transport operators in Luxemburg, is a forerunner in the introduction of alternative drive technologies. Sales Lentz is constantly seeking to reduce its carbon footprint and to be a leader in the implementation of novel clean technologies. Sales-Lentz was the first company to buy Volvo Hybrids in Europe as early as in 2009. Today, they have 13 Volvo Hybrids in their fleet.

October 18, 2013

For further information, please contact:
Helena Lind, Manager Media Relations, Volvo Bus Corporation
Phone: +46 (0)31-323 62 57

Press release Luxemburg MoU_EN.pdf
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