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Volvo Buses: Turn-key solutions for electrified public transport

Hybrid, electric hybrid or all-electric bus? At IAA, Volvo Buses will unveil its entire range of electrified buses and business solutions designed to make it easier for customers to take the step from fossil-fuelled to electric-powered public transport. With its comprehensive range of electrified buses, Volvo continues to lead the drive for cleaner, quieter and … Continued

Hybrid, electric hybrid or all-electric bus? At IAA, Volvo Buses will unveil its entire range of electrified buses and business solutions designed to make it easier for customers to take the step from fossil-fuelled to electric-powered public transport.

With its comprehensive range of electrified buses, Volvo continues to lead the drive for cleaner, quieter and more energy-efficient public transport. Volvo Buses has so far sold more than 2700 electrified vehicles worldwide.

“The demand for sustainable public transport is increasing the world over, and we have what it takes to meet this demand. Our solutions make it possible to electrify and optimise both inner-city transport and commuter traffic in a cost-effective way. This not only contributes to a better environment, it also creates entirely new conditions for urban development,” says Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses.

New opportunities for urban development
Emission-free, quiet vehicles make it possible to operate in areas that were previously closed to bus traffic owing to exhaust or noise restrictions. And bus stops can be placed indoors, where passengers can be shielded from harsh weather and cold winds. Indoor bus stops are being tested for instance in Gothenburg, where Volvo’s electric buses have been successfully trialled for the past year. Here a number of actors representing industry, urban planning and academia are working together to see what opportunities are created when bus traffic is electrified. Volvo electric hybrids are also to be found on the streets of Stockholm, Hamburg and Curitiba, and next year Volvo’s all-electric bus will take to the roads of Paris.

“We see a future that relies on a blend of hybrids, electric hybrids and all-electric buses. With these three levels of electrification, we can create customer-optimised holistic solutions for public transport for each individual city,” notes Håkan Agnevall.

Turn-key solutions make things simple for the customer
In 2016, Namur in Belgium and Luxemburg also decided to opt for Volvo’s turn-key solution for electrified bus operations. Namur has ordered eleven electric hybrids. Luxemburg, where 14 Volvo hybrid buses are already in operation, has placed orders for five electric hybrids.

“The customers pay a fixed monthly cost for the vehicles, service and batteries. Even the charging stations are included. This is a secure and simple approach, one that ensures high uptime and predictable costs,” relates Håkan Agnevall.

In both the above cases, ABB is the producer of the charging equipment, but Volvo also works together with Siemens on charging architecture.

Open interface for charging
In order to ease the introduction of electrified vehicles in European cities, Volvo and several other bus and infrastructure manufacturers took a decision last spring to adopt an open and competition-neutral interface between charging equipment and vehicles. The charging standard is based on conductive static charging using a pantograph and a WiFi-based communication interface. Since the equipment features standardised open architecture, every city is able to make its own individual choice of charging infrastructure supplier. This also means that the same charging stations can be used by electrified buses of many different makes.

“Volvo is ready for cities that now want to step into the future. All the necessary prerequisites are in place for what is perhaps the most significant change in public transport for the past 70 to 80 years,” says Håkan Agnevall.

Volvo’s range of electrified buses and charging infrastructure

Volvo 7900 Hybrid
• Two-axle hybrid bus with electric motor, batteries and a small diesel engine. Introduced in 2010.
• Quiet, emission-free at start and standstill.
• Up to 39 % lower energy consumption than a corresponding diesel bus.
• Can carry up to 102 passengers.

Volvo 7900 Hybrid Articulated Bus
• Three-axle hybrid bus with electric motor, batteries and a small diesel engine. Introduced in 2013.
• Quiet, emission-free at start and standstill.
• Up to 30 % lower energy consumption than a corresponding diesel bus.
• Can carry up to 154 passengers.

Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid
• Two-axle electric hybrid with electric motor, batteries and a small diesel engine. Introduced in 2014.
• Possibility of about seven kilometres of quiet, emission-free operation between charges. Recharging takes just a few minutes via Opportunity Charging pylons installed at the end stations.
• Up to 60 % lower energy consumption than a corresponding diesel bus.
• Can carry up to 95 passengers.

Volvo 7900 Electric
• Two-axle electric bus with electric motor and batteries, introduced in 2015.
• Can run up to about ten kilometres quietly, without any exhaust emissions, before it needs to be recharged. Charging takes just a few minutes via an Opportunity Charging pylon installed at either end of the bus route.
• Up to 80 % lower energy consumption than a corresponding diesel bus.
• Can carry up to 105 passengers.

OppCharge
• Open interface between charging equipment and vehicles
• 150 kW and 300 kW charge
• All moving parts built into the charging pylon
• A 3 to 6 minute charge is sufficient for 30 minutes of driving
• Conductive static charge via a pantograph. Communication between bus and charging station takes place via WiFi
The bus has roof-mounted connector rails that can handle all weather conditions from -25 C to +45 C
• Volvo works together with Siemens and ABB on charging infrastructure

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