Urban Transport

Volvo's electric bus set to leave depot for public use

The new bus route 55 in Gothenburg will feature three all-electric buses and seven electric-hybrid buses
The new bus route 55 in Gothenburg will feature three all-electric buses and seven electric-hybrid buses
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The buses feature power sockets for passengers to recharge their mobile phones, and on-board Wi-Fi
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The buses feature power sockets for passengers to recharge their mobile phones, and on-board Wi-Fi
The new bus route 55 in Gothenburg will feature three all-electric buses and seven electric-hybrid buses
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The new bus route 55 in Gothenburg will feature three all-electric buses and seven electric-hybrid buses

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 buses feature power sockets for passengers to recharge their mobile phones, and on-board Wi-Fi
The buses feature 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: Volvo, ElectriCity

7 comments
christopher
Newsflash: burning old straw, even if you do that via "biogas", does not make it "Renewable" guys. Sure, maybe's it's not millions of years old like coal is, so you can claim it's not "fossil", but it still represents sequestered carbon that's released as CO2 when you pull it out. Putting batteries inside a vehicle that is charged by gas does not make it green - it produces a net outcome (after transmission/generation/transfer/etc losses) of MORE pollution than if the bus just ran on gas in the first place. If they'd done this in a supply area of one of their reactors, instead of the gas-and-coal-driven gothenburg, then, while not "renewable", at least the word "green" would not have been a 100% lie in their marketing... I pity the poor taxpayers. They did a 3-bus viability survey in my own town, and no matter how hard they tried, every number came up "bad idea". Way too much cost. More pollution. Dismal range. Short lifespan...
Toffe Carling
Um, since when is Gothenburg gas/goal driven only? To be correct in my comments I did some digging and best numbers I can find is that Sweden aims to be using 50% renewable energy sources by 2020. We are very far a head of that that direction as it is. The year 2010 Swedens power came 46% from water power 39% nuclear, 2.5% wind power and then only 13% from burning of oil, coal, bio fuel, garbage but mostly in Thermal power plants that first uses the heat to heat houses and then the rest of that energy to make power. Also 1 kWh made by an engine in a vehicle is not cleaner than 1 kWh made in a power plant where the cleaning of the exhaust is way better. I hope this will lower the fares as they are tooo high in Gothenburg. But if you want to complain about electric buses, you can always say that the batteries are made from bad stuff. That is an valid point. Thing is Volvo is working on a system where they put cables in the road so that electric vehicles can charge as they drive. Reducing the size of batteries. So what town did they do there test on you said and under what conditions? Besides its not the tax payers that pay for electric buses, its the commuters.
Sven Ollino
Electric drive will always be more effective than an ICE drive even when you use electricity from a really ineffective coal fired plant. Most people simply fail to look at the entire supply chain of gasoline/diesel: drilling, transportation, storage, (transportation,) refining, transportation, storage, pumping into your vehicle. With that said, comparing Volvo EVs to Proterra or BYD makes Volvo seem half-baked and rigid.
Timo Tiilikainen
I live in Salzburg,Austria.Electric trolleybuses are still in use and they are not getting rid of them but other means of public transport are being built or discussed e.g. local train (electric ) and even subway .
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Electric power is about 10 c/kwh in my area vs. about 40 c/kwh for motor fuels. Street cars and trolley buses were common in the 50's but were displaced by the automobile and suburban expansion. They are coming back as a taxpayer funded amenity. They are more a lifestyle element than basic transportation, like they were. Vehicle engines are about 20% efficient at cruise, 10% in stop-and-go. Single cycle steam turbines are 40% efficient. Combined cycle, up to 80%. Uranium has little use, other than for power and poses about as much hazard as ore as it does as waste. Ore can't be used as a political football, however.
Don Duncan
If transport by EVs were viable no public money would be necessary. The private sector provides goods/services cheaper/better. The USSR's 74 year experiment with a public economy could not compete with the public economy of the USSA because it was less socialistic. Imagine a country that had no socialism, i.e., was totally capitalistic, i.e., had a free enterprise system. Nowhere has that been tried, contrary to the popular lie that 18th century USA was capitalist. It was less socialistic than it is today, but not on principle. The private sector was always under attack, always suspect, never trusted. It existed by bribing the politicians. That system has slowly given way to less freedom because it did not challenge the morality of regulation. It accepted it. Capitalists did not know they were exercising inalienable property rights and the right of association. They did not defend the morality of capitalism, i.e. free enterprise. See: "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" by Ayn Rand.
Stephen N Russell
Send about 100 to LA CA. Can use em for sure.
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