The Harrogate Bus Company, owned by Transdev Blazefield, buys eight electric buses from Volvo. The vehicles will operate in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester. The project was unveiled at an event on February 3 where Volvo’s fully electric bus from Gothenburg was demonstrated.
When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using ‘opportunity charging’ via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries.
Opportunity charging takes place via a specialist overhead mast, which connects to the bus via a pantograph. Charging is fully automated and takes between three and six minutes to complete. Volvo’s electric bus has 80 percent lower energy consumption than the corresponding diesel bus.
“It is extremely gratifying that Volvo’s first full electric buses will enter into service in the UK next year. The UK is one of our biggest markets for our electromobility program and we are excited about working together with Transdev Blazefield to make Harrogate a UK leader in clean, green public transport”, said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.
Phil Owen, Commercial Sales Director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, said: “The arrival of the 7900E is extremely exciting not only for Volvo Bus and Transdev Blazefield, but also for the people and this beautiful spa town of Harrogate, which is now set to lead the way with the adoption of opportunity-charged full electric vehicles in the UK.
Nick Page, Managing Director for Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, added: “Volvo Bus has been at the forefront of environmentally considerate and sustainable technology development during the last 50 years and our latest range of Electromobility vehicles are setting a standard in Europe not only in terms of emissions, but also for their efficiency and flexibility in operation.
Alex Hornby, CEO of The Harrogate Bus Company, said: “This is about making Harrogate a UK leader in clean, green public transport. When we introduce our new electric buses next year, it’ll be the first time that this ‘next generation’ power technology will be in use anywhere in the UK.
The new electric bus project is also being welcomed by Transport Minister and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, who said: “Harrogate is set to become a low emission bus town. Transdev Blazefield has shown huge ambition and the technology for this is a first for the UK.
The project has been partly funded by the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme (£2.25 million).
The largest single market for Volvo’s hybrid buses thus far is the UK, which accounts for almost half (1,425) of the vehicles in operation.
Volvo 7900 Electric
· All-electric two-axle 12-metre long city bus with low floor and three doors.
· 80 % lower energy consumption than a corresponding diesel bus.
· Quiet, emission-free operation.
· Equipped with an electric motor and lithium ion batteries.
· The batteries can be charged at the end stops in three to six minutes.
*Recharging time depends on topography, load and climate conditions.
OppCharge (Opportunity Charging)
• Common interface between charging station and vehicles, based on the car industry CCS standard
• Charging power 150 or 450 kW.
• Pantograph attached to the pylon makes it possible to use a cost-effective solution that adds little weight to the bus roof.
• Conductive charging using current collectors, with communication between the bus and charging station via Wi-Fi.