As of May last year, Volvo Buses’ electric hybrid bus has been undergoing field tests on route 60 in Gothenburg. That project has now been evaluated and the results show that the new buses are popular with passengers and drivers and also with residents along the route.
Volvo Buses is taking part in the EU’s Hyperbus project together with public transport company Västtrafik, Business Region Göteborg, Göteborg Energi and the city’s Traffic & Public Transport Authority. This project puts Volvo’s electric hybrid bus to the test as it covers seven kilometres quietly and emission-free. The charging system makes it possible to cut diesel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by 75 percent compared with today’s diesel-powered buses. Total energy consumption is reduced by 60 percent.
Västtrafik has carried out a survey among passengers on route 60, drivers of the electric hybrid buses, and residents living along route 60, asking them what they think about the new buses. The results show that the majority are positive to the buses and that there is considerable awareness of the project – 7 out of 10 say they know about the initiative.
A large proportion of those questioned also feel it is important to invest in environmentally optimised buses running on alternative fuels. A majority of passengers said they would consider paying half a krona more per trip to help finance more electric hybrid buses.
“Many people appreciate the hybrid buses because they are quiet and comfortable, and we find it very encouraging that customers are willing to pay more to travel in a more environmentally sound way,” says Hanna Björk, environmental affairs strategist at Västtrafik.
The fact that the electric hybrid buses are quiet is appreciated by residents living along route 60, with 40 percent saying they are less disturbed by the hybrid buses than by conventional buses. The staff also like the new buses, with the environmental gains being seen as the biggest benefits. The comfortable and quiet working environment was also mentioned in positive terms.
“The survey underscores the major advantages of electric hybrids for customers, drivers and urban residents alike. This type of bus functions very well in metropolitan conditions, while at the same time helping us meet our high environmental standards,” says Hanna Björk.
“It is very gratifying that our electric hybrid buses are so highly appreciated. More and more cities are now beginning to introduce buses running on electricity. They are far more energy-efficient compared with diesel-powered buses, and since they are so quiet they contribute to a more pleasant urban climate,” says Per Bengtsson, project manager for the Hyperbus project at Volvo Buses.
The buses will continue in regular operation until July this year. Volvo plans to start commercial production of the electric hybrid bus in early 2016. The Hyperbus project is partly financed by Life+, the EU’s financing programme for environmental projects.
Facts about Volvo’s electric hybrid bus
- Uses 60 percent less energy and produces 75 percent less carbon dioxide compared with a corresponding diesel bus.
- The electricity that the bus uses to quickly and conveniently charge its batteries at its two end depots is produced by wind-power. Charging takes 6 to 8 minutes.
- The electric hybrid bus operates quietly and emission-free for about 7 kilometres without requiring recharging on the way.