Mid-June will see the start of traffic on route 55 between Lindholmen and Chalmers/Johanneberg in Gothenburg. This new route will be served by three all-electric buses and seven electric hybrids, all from Volvo Buses. The vehicles are equipped with battery packs that can be quick-charged with renewable electricity at their end terminals. Energy consumption of the electric buses is about 80 per cent lower than that of corresponding diesel buses. The new route is the result of a cooperative venture known as ElectriCity, which develops, demonstrates and evaluates innovative solutions for future sustainable public transport.
Before it enters regular operations Volvo’s new electric bus will also be shown at the large UITP public-transport show in Milan on June 8-10. UITP brings together public transport purchasers from all over the world who come to see the latest developments in the industry.
"Right now we are carrying out final testing to ensure everything works just as it should when regular traffic gets under way. This marks a major milestone in our development of new solutions for electrified buses. Quiet and entirely exhaust-free operation will contribute both to a better urban environment and reduced climate impact, while passengers get a more pleasant ride," says Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.
Passenger wishes have also shaped the design of the new electric buses in several ways.
"For instance, all boarding and exiting is quick and convenient via an extra-wide door opening with a low entry in the middle of the bus. Here there is a large area with a low, flat floor, to make things easier for passengers with child buggies or wheelchairs."
Volvo’s designers aimed to give the bus a modern and welcoming atmosphere. The interior is bright and airy and there are electrical power sockets for passengers to recharge their mobile phones. The bus features onboard Wi-Fi. Although the bus is just 10.7 metres long (more than a metre shorter than a conventional bus) it can carry up to 86 passengers. The central driver’s seat contributes to high passenger capacity.
Commercial launch in 2017
The Volvo Buses range of electrified buses includes the previously launched Volvo 7900 Hybrid, which has been a major commercial success with more than 2000 units sold, and the Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid which was launched in autumn 2014. Unlike these two, the new electric bus is a concept vehicle. Series production of all-electric Volvo buses is scheduled for 2017.
The electric bus is part of ElectriCity
Traffic with electric buses on route 55 in Gothenburg is a result of ElectriCity. This is a cooperative venture between the research fraternity, industry and city planners, for the purpose of developing, demonstrating and evaluating next-generation sustainable public transport. Among the participants are Volvo Group, Chalmers, the Swedish Energy Agency, Region Västra Götaland, Västtrafik, the Municipality of Gothenburg, Göteborg Energi, Lindholmen Science Park and Johanneberg Science Park.