Lower energy consumption, lower environmental impact, cleaner exhaust and more silent operation are properties that are highly interesting to both bus operators and society. Accordingly, demand is rapidly increasing for transport solutions using vehicles that operate completely or partly on electricity. For Volvo Buses, electromobility is the road to the future.
With more than 1,000 examples of the Volvo 7900 Hybrid sold to 21 countries, Volvo Buses has, in a short space of time, secured the lead in the global market for hybrid buses and is currently the largest in Europe. Volvo’s hybrid buses also operate in South America and the first Volvo hybrid was recently sold in Australia. Earlier in the spring, Volvo Buses’ North American subsidiary, Nova Bus, secured an order for 475 hybrid buses for Quebec in Canada. In China, Volvo’s partner Sunwin Bus is leading in electrically driven large buses, with a market share of approximately 40%. During 2012, more than 400 fully electric buses were delivered.
“In recent years, sales of Volvo Buses’ hybrid buses have tripled for each year and we believe the market for electromobility will continue to expand rapidly. Accordingly, the Volvo Group is investing major amounts in this area, making it possible for cities to realize their visions of more eco-friendly and attractive transportation,” says Håkan Karlsson, President of Volvo Buses.
Since Volvo Buses sold its first hybrid bus four years ago, the technology has proved to be reliable. Operational safety is as high as for conventional diesel-driven vehicles. The technology has continuously been developed to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Today’s Volvo 7900 Hybrid has 39% lower fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions than a corresponding diesel bus. The introduction of a new engine for Euro 6 allows for fuel consumption to be reduced by up to 45%, emissions of nitrogen oxide and particles will also be reduced by 87% and 50%, respectively, compared with Euro 5.
From 2014, all Volvo single-decker buses with low floors for Europe will be hybrids. An important step in the development is the introduction of the Volvo 7900 Articulated Hybrid bus, with capacity for 154 passengers. This bus will match customers’ requirements for high capacity combined with low fuel consumption, low emissions and low noise levels.
In parallel with the continued development of today’s hybrid bus, Volvo Buses has developed a plug-in hybrid, which can be charged via the electricity grid at bus terminuses. This will facilitate operation over longer distances using clean and quiet electricity, which will reduce energy consumption by up to 60% and emissions of carbon dioxide by at least 80%. The plug-in hybrid will now be evaluated in traffic in Gothenburg over a two-year period. Serial production is scheduled for 2015.
In the long-term, Volvo Buses will also offer complete electrically driven options for European customers who want to operate without emissions and noise, for example, in sensitive city environments.
By whole-heartedly investing in electromobility, Volvo Buses will meet the expanding need in society for sustainable transport and customers’ demand for cost-efficient solutions. To date, the experience has shown that the technology not only leads to lower environmental impact but also pays for itself through lower fuel costs. This combination is an excellent illustration of what Volvo Buses means by green efficiency.