The global community for public transport gathers at the 2013 UITP Congress in Geneva today – with Volvo Buses presenting news that strengthens the company’s position as the global partner for sustainable transport. On top of displaying a ground-breaking plug-in hybrid that reduces fuel consumption with 75 percent compared to a diesel bus, Volvo Buses also presents an innovative software solution that integrates vital parts of the physical traffic environment into the brain of the bus.
“The software enables the creation of “virtual fences” which makes it possible to automatically adapt the bus to certain specific conditions along the route. For instance, when rolling into a ‘Zero Emission Zone’, the bus will switch over to pure electric drive by itself,” explains Håkan Karlsson, President of Volvo Bus Corporation.
The solution will over time include increasing number of features such as automatic speed limit adaption when passing vulnerable areas such as schools – and when driving into a Silent Zone the power train is tuned for maximum efficiency without exceeding a noise limit of 65 dB.
“This solution is an excellent example how we reinforce our leadership within ‘green efficiency’. Our aim is to develop technology and services that not only leads to lower environmental impact but also pays for themselves through lower fuel costs,” says Håkan Karlsson.
The telematics solution will be a software addition to the Volvo Plug-in Hybrid, which is scheduled for serial production in the second half of 2015.
75 percent less fuel with Plug-in Hybrid
The plug-in hybrid features a combination of a 5-litre diesel engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery.
The Volvo plug-in hybrid, which can be charged in 6-10 minutes at bus terminuses via a collector installed on the roof of the bus. The bus can run up to 7 km at a time, on electricity only.
The plug-in technology will facilitate the reduction of fuel consumption and carbon dioxide by 75 to percent compared with current diesel buses. The total energy consumption will be reduced by approximately 60 percent.
The plug-in hybrid will now be evaluated in traffic in Gothenburg, Sweden, over a two-year period. Serial production is scheduled for the second half of 2015.
With more than 1,000 examples of the Volvo 7900 Hybrid sold to 21 countries, Volvo Buses has secured the lead in the global market for hybrid buses. Volvo Buses will now strengthen its model program with a new articulated bus with hybrid technology. The Volvo 7900 Articulated Hybrid bus will have capacity for 154 passengers and up to 30 percent lower fuel consumption than the current diesel model.
I-Coaching makes the bus more fuel efficient
The extensive range of products and services displayed by Volvo Buses at Palexpo in Geneva also includes the new Volvo I-Coaching unit.
I-Coaching is located on the dashboard in the bus. It monitors a number of driving parameters and provides instant feedback when one or more of them are exceeded. The parameters include over revving, excessive idling, harsh braking, harsh acceleration, over speeding and harsh curving.
“I-Coaching assists the driver to handle the bus safely and more fuel-efficient. It also helps to increase passenger comfort. The bus operator benefits by getting a detailed feedback on how their buses are utilized and what actions are needed to avoid recurring problems, explains Håkan Karlsson.