The benefits of hybrid technology in the form of low fuel consumption, low emissions and quiet operation are of considerable interest to most operators. However, the launch of the new technology also prompted a number of questions. Would the hybrid buses be able to live up to their expectations in practical everyday operation?
Experience shows that Volvo’s hybrids deliver on every level. Not least when it comes to operating reliability and uptime. The 260 hybrid buses delivered thus far have exceeded a total of 400,000 hours of operation and covered more than 8,000,000 kilometres – a distance corresponding to about 200 times around the world.
As reliable as diesel buses
“Customer statistics show that our hybrid buses are at least as reliable as our diesels. It has also been demonstrated that the new technology offers the same advantages in commuter operations as in busy city traffic,” says Edward Jobson, Environment Manager Volvo Buses.
Eight out of ten customers are buying more hybrids
The market has also realised that hybrid technology is a mature alternative. Of the first ten customers, eight have already ordered additional hybrid buses from Volvo.
Nettbuss Trondheim in Norway has been operating ten hybrids for the past two years and has carefully monitored their function in both summer and winter conditions.
“Not least during the bitter winter of 2010/2011, the hybrids turned out to be the most reliable buses in our entire fleet. They have had very few standstills and required less maintenance than we originally planned,” says Øystein Olsen, Operations Manager at Nettbuss Trondheim.
VBL in Lucerne, Switzerland, also has excellent experience of Volvo’s hybrid buses. The company has six Volvo hybrids which have been in operation for about a year now. After a total distance of 320,000 kilometres a first evaluation was conducted. It revealed that the technology delivers on its promises.
“We are proud to be the first bus operator in Switzerland to have a small fleet of hybrid buses in regular use. After one year of operation, we’re really pleased with the results,” says VBL President Norbert Schassman.
In the past year several Swiss companies have followed VBL’s example, and at the end of January 2012 a total of 25 Volvo hybrid buses were in traffic on Swiss roads.
Dramatic reduction of fuel consumption and emissions
At the same time as increasing numbers of customers choose hybrid buses, the technology too is undergoing constant development. The Volvo hybrids delivered so far give a fuel saving and thus also a carbon dioxide emission reduction of between 30 and 35 percent, but figures of up to 40 percent are entirely realistic within the near future. For the urban environment, hybrid technology represents a major step forward. Emissions of pollutants are just half that of the very best diesel buses, while noise levels are considerably lower.
“The transition from entirely fossil-powered vehicles to solutions that are more sustainable in the long term has only just begun. Our hybrid bus shows very clearly that energy efficiency and low environmental impact can be combined with high demands on operating reliability and economy,” says Edward Jobson.
May 11, 2012
For further information, please contact Christina Fjellman, VP, Corporate Communications, tel. +46-70-2696010, e-mail: email@example.com