Next month, Gothenburg's public transport will get a little bit greener. The Swedish city will see the introduction of its first fully electric buses. According to Volvo, which makes the vehicles, they use 80 percent less energy than diesel equivalents.
The buses, which were announced back in 2013, are being introduced on a new route. Route 55 will run between the Lindholmen and Chalmers/Johanneberg areas of the city and will be served by three all-electric buses and seven electric-hybrid buses.
The new route is part of the ElectriCity scheme, through which research, industry and city bodies seek to develop, demonstrate and evaluate the next-generation of sustainable public transport. In addition to offering quiet, exhaust-free buses, the route will see the buses powered by electricity from renewable sources and passengers picked up indoors.
The buses measure 10.7 m (35.1 ft) long and can carry up to 86 passengers, with the central position of the driver’s seat helping to maximize capacity. Volvo says they are designed to be modern and welcoming with bright and airy interiors. Amongst their features are power sockets for passengers to recharge their mobile phones and on-board Wi-Fi.
The firm says that passengers also helped to shape the design of the vehicles. Aspects that were developed through passenger input include extra-wide and low-access doors for quick boarding and alighting, and a spacious flat floor for good stroller and wheelchair access.
"This marks a major milestone in our development of new solutions for electrified buses," says president of Volvo Buses Håkan Agnevall. "Quiet and entirely exhaust-free operation will contribute both to a better urban environment and reduced climate impact, while passengers get a more pleasant ride."
The buses are currently undergoing final testing to ensure that they can operate with no problems in regular city traffic. They will go into operation on route 55 on June 15.Sources: