The B5LH is a low-floor hybrid double deck bus chassis manufactured by Volvo Bus. Arriva was the first company to try out the new hybrid in the UK when six were supplied following the launch in 2009 and to date 2,535 Volvo Hybrids have been sold worldwide.
Available with Wrightbus, ADL or MCV bodywork, the Volvo B5LH is a versatile chassis that can be tailored to meet the customer’s specific requirements. It is the only current double decker of its type in service in the UK that uses a parallel hybrid drive system.
Delivering proven best in class fuel economy when compared to a conventional diesel double deck bus, the B5LH offers high reliability. The vehicle provides complete integration of the engine and the hybrid systems, all of which are designed and manufactured by Volvo Bus.
Phil Owen, Commercial Sales Director for Volvo Bus, said: “Reaching the milestone of 1,000 Volvo Hybrid vehicles delivered in the UK is a significant sales achievement. The B5LH has been giving outstanding results here and worldwide and thanks to the reliability, fuel savings and overall performance of this bus, we have worked with our longstanding customers to keep selling this popular vehicle.
“With ongoing development of the B5LH in combination with the new versatile bodybuilder options, we hope to continue to retain the sales success we have seen in recent years.”
Richard Shillingford, Engineering Director for RATP Dev London, who will be taking delivery of the 1000th Volvo B5LH added: “One of the biggest considerations in any vehicle procurement is fuel efficiency and reliability and we felt that Volvo Bus’ performance gave us what we were looking for with our new fleet additions going forwards.”
A long-standing customer of Volvo Bus is Go-Ahead London, whose Engineering Director is Richard Harrington, who said: “We are one of the largest operators of Volvo buses in the UK and Ireland and the biggest bus operator in London and our continued patronage of the product is based on our previous good experience of excellent in-service performance and reliability.”
More than 30% savings on fuel bills
Depending on the type of operation the vehicle is used for, Volvo customers can expect as much as a 30 per cent saving on fuel bills in mixed traffic with the B5LH.
The driver still plays a key role in delivering fuel savings and as the operators’ experience increases, full savings also improve. Volvo undertakes training with every new customer to highlight the special features and information available to the driver of a Volvo Hybrid.
C02 reduction: 27 tonnes a year per bus – 12g per passenger mile
Volvo estimates that operating a hybrid for a year could improve the operators’ carbon footprint by as much as 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This typically equates to less than 12g less carbon dioxide per passenger mile so the more hybrids in a fleet, the better the result. This will have a significant influence on the transport priorities in towns and cities in the future.
No 1 in uptime
There is still a notion that hybrid buses are sensitive and less reliable than conventional buses. The Volvo Hybrid has demonstrated top level availability and is backed by the standard Volvo warranty (‘2+1’ years, complete vehicle and driveline) with the added benefit of five years on the hybrid battery which significantly limits the risk for the operator.
Reduced Air Quality Emissions
Particulates and N0x (Oxides of Nitrogen) are very sensitive air quality emissions that are becoming a priority on the agenda for many towns and cities across the UK. The Volvo Hybrid delivers significant benefits in this area with a pure electric pull away from bus stops as just one example of reducing C02 emissions.
Silent take off
The B5LH operates silently with the diesel engine shut off from pull off up to 10 mph before the diesel engine smoothly re-engages. This offers zero emissions and enhances passenger comfort. Drivers operating the bus cautiously can maintain the electric mode for almost 1km.
More than just city-centre operation
There is a myth that hybrids only offer fuel savings in dense city traffic while in reality, the savings are significant in suburban operations too. The vehicle was first in service in London but now runs with 20 operators and subsidiaries of the major groups from Brighton in the South to Blyth in the North East and services routes within city centres and roads connecting small towns across the UK.
11 May 2016
Caption for image:
The B5LH low-floor hybrid electric bus from Volvo. The company has recently sold its 1000th bus from the hybrid range.