Volvo hybrid bus takes first passengers

Volvo hybrid bus takes first passengers
The new Volvo 7700 hybrid bus
The new Volvo 7700 hybrid bus
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The new Volvo 7700 hybrid bus
The new Volvo 7700 hybrid bus

April 30, 2009 Volvo’s new hybrid bus is taking on passengers for the first time with field tests now underway in Gothenburg.

The Volvo 7700

Volvo uses a parallel hybrid technology which combines a smaller than normal diesel engine and an electric drive which can be used together or separately. When the bus stops to drop off passengers, the diesel engine automatically shuts off and doesn't restart until the vehicle has reached a speed of 15-20 km/h using electric power – all making for a much quieter bus stop.

Regenerative braking is also used in the system which Volvo says achieves fuel savings of up to 30%. Particulate discharge and nitrous oxides are reduced by 40-50% compared with a diesel only bus and carbon dioxide is reduced by up to 30%. The company also estimates that bus operators will recoup the extra cost of the vehicle within seven years.

The added bonus of a hybrid bus is that these savings are combined with the inherent benefits of public transport.

“We reduce energy consumption per passenger by 50-75%, compared with using an automobile,” says Edward Jobson, Environmental Director at Volvo Buses. “With such major environmental gains and such large savings in fuel costs, we are convinced that hybrid buses will become extremely attractive and a difficult-to-beat alternative for personal transportation within a few years.”

Volvo's has also designed its hybrid architecture to be common for buses, trucks and construction equipment with a view to producing larger volumes and lowering component costs.

Volume production scheduled for 2010

Göteborgs Spårvägar transit company is participating in the current field test and Volvo expects to start series production of hybrid buses at the beginning of 2010. Field tests will soon commence in London with the first of six hybrid double-decker buses.

David Greig

Hello - I just thought I'd mention that The Solaris bus company in Poland are now producing their second generation of diesel-electric "Urbino" hybrid buses. They've been producing hybrid buses since 2006, which, apart from Poland, are running in Dresden, Leipzig and Bochum in Germany, and Lenzburg in Switzerland (two of some of the toughest markets in terms of pollution control). The second generation of hybrids have now been delivered to bus operators in Bremen and Hannover, and will shortly be delivered to Munich. Have a look at "". Apart from that - excellent stuff - keep it comin'!
Adrian Akau
We sure could make use of these hybrid bus systems in the US. Our state (Hawaii) just purchased a new fleet of buses for Honolulu but none of them were of the hybrid type.
Honolulu is planning to spend 7 billion (with the help of the Federal Government) on a 26 mile elevated rail system which I think will prove inadequate for its needs since it will serve only 6% of commuters. An expenditure towards a better bus system should be considered. A few hundred million would probably purchase quite a few hybrid buses.

It is good to know that Solaris in Poland is also in the business. Use of the hybrid bus should increase dramatically. All liquid fuels in Hawaii are imported so the prices are high ($3.50-$4.00 per gallon), even for diesel. I think that the pay-back time for would be under seven years, though the transport to Hawaii would also have to be included in the cost factor.