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Volvo developing a plug-in hybrid bus

Volvo Buses is currently developing a plug-in hybrid bus that can drive
long distances silently and exhaust-free on only electricity. Three
buses will be tested in Gothenburg, Sweden, supported by the European
Volvo currently has the world's most efficient hybrid solution for buses
and trucks. Volvo Buses has sold more than 250 hybrid buses, which are
reducing fuel consumption by up to 35% and thus also reducing energy
consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions by an equal amount.
“Reducing the total global energy consumption is the most important
measure today and in the future,” says Volvo Buses CEO Håkan Karlsson.
“The bus is already today clearly the most energy-efficient vehicle for
public transport and our hybrid bus will accentuate its position as the
best environmental option.”
“But, we must continue to reduce energy consumption and for us in the
bus industry, this involves finding solutions to increase electricity
Supported by authorities including the Swedish Energy Agency, Volvo is
developing a plug-in hybrid bus. It is essentially the same Volvo hybrid
bus as today, where the brake energy is recycled and utilized by the
electric motor. But, with a new type of battery and charging equipment
it will also be possible to charge the battery via the electricity
The concept is based on placing battery charging stations at the end
stations of the bus lines. By charging the battery there for five to ten
minutes, it could significantly extend the time that the bus is able to
operate only on electricity.
This could entail distances of up to ten kilometers, with the
corresponding advantages in the form of silent traffic with no local
emissions. It can be controlled so that the bus operates on electricity
in densely populated areas or in particularly sensitive environmental
areas, while the diesel engine can be used on other parts of the route.
This technology will generate considerable opportunities to
significantly reduce energy consumption. The reason is that electric
engines have very high efficiency.
“We expect to be able to reduce the energy consumption in a city bus by
up to 65% compared with today's diesel buses,” says Håkan Karlsson.
“And, the plug-in hybrid bus will be able to reduce diesel consumption
and thus carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 75%.”
Volvo Buses expects to have a prototype bus ready for testing in 2011.
The next step will be taken in autumn 2012, when a field test will
commence in Gothenburg using three chargeable hybrid buses. The buses
will be put in service with passengers.
The field test project will be implemented in cooperation with Business
Region Göteborg, the Traffic Office inGothenburgCity, Västtrafik and
Göteborgs Energi, which will be responsible for the charging stations.
On Friday, the project was granted a subsidy of Euro 1,4 M from the EU's
program that supports environmental ventures, Life+.
“It is important to the environment that we are able to develop new
energy-efficient solutions as rapidly as possible,” says Ulf Gustafsson,
Head of Public Affairs at Volvo Buses. “We have the opportunity to
succeed because we are capitalizing on the collective expertise of
companies, organizations and authorities, and they are jointly investing
the funds required.”
The field test will commence in autumn 2012, but Volvo Buses does not
know yet when the company will be able to offer this bus in the market.
“It will take a few more years,” says Håkan Karlsson. “But, we are
convinced that this is a key step on the path to more efficient public
transport and an important step in the effort to reduce global energy
August 31, 2011
For further information, please contact Per-Martin Johansson, Press
Officer, +46 31 322 52 00,
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 ) or Ulf
Gustafsson, Senior Manager Public Affairs, +46 31 322 67 64,
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