Published On: Sun, Jul 5th, 2015

Electric Buses from Volvo to the Public Transport


Volvo Buses is helping to launch the public transport of the future as it introduces a concept electric bus as part of the public transport system in Gothenburg, Sweden. A leading manufacturer of buses and coaches, the Swedish company has revealed that the pioneering concept vehicle may have a future in the Middle East as it gears up for series production of all-electric buses in 2017.

As countries across the Middle East continue to look towards developing their public transport systems, the new fully electrically driven buses may be the most efficient solution. The concept bus is silent and emission-free and runs on electricity generated by renewable energy. It runs on batteries that are quickly recharged with renewable electricity at the terminal stops, one of which features an indoor terminal, which is made possible by the fact that the buses are silent and emission-free. The buses on the Gothenburg route, which began operation on June 15, are equipped with on-board Wi-Fi and phone charging facilities.

“The Volvo Group aims to be the world leader in sustainable transport solutions and already offers a range of advanced models designed to minimise their environmental impact,” says Steve Hedouin, Vice President Volvo Bus Corporation Middle East and Africa. “When it comes to infrastructure development, the countries of the Middle East are among the most forward-thinking and proactive. They are leaders when it comes to introducing the latest, state-of-the-art public transport systems, so we are actively looking at opportunities to bring models such as this electric bus to the region in the future.”

While Volvo Buses already markets a range of electrified buses, including the Volvo 7900 Hybrid, which has been a major commercial success with more than 2000 units sold, and the Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid, this first completely electrically driven bus is currently a concept vehicle. 10.7 metres long it can carry up to 86 passengers while the centrally positioned driver’s seat contributes to the high passenger capacity. Energy consumption of the electric bus is about 80 per cent lower than that of corresponding diesel buses.

With the Middle East’s population continuing to grow extensively over recent decades, coupled with an increasing realisation that sustainability is key for the future, the energy efficient public transport systems will be of particular interest around the region. According to some reports, investment in public transportation in the Middle East over the next 10-15 years is expected to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars and Volvo Buses believes that cutting-edge models such as the new electric bus offer the ideal solution.

Traffic with electric buses on route 55 in Gothenburg is a result of ElectriCity. This is a cooperative venture between the research fraternity, industry and city planners, for the purpose of developing, demonstrating and evaluating next-generation sustainable public transport. Among the participants are Volvo Group, Chalmers, the Swedish Energy Agency, Region Västra Götaland, Västtrafik, Keolis, the Municipality of Gothenburg, Göteborg Energi, Lindholmen Science Park and Johannesburg Science Park.

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