Volvo Bus – helping bus and coach operators to turn over a new environmental leaf

The importance of the environment and initiatives to reduce environmental impact are a key theme for the Volvo Bus stand at this year’s Euro Bus Expo Show, with many practical examples on display.

Volvo Hybrid – the next generation for a cleaner, brighter world

Hybrid drivelines on buses are an important step to reduce fuel consumption and, consequently, the emission of carbon dioxide. Whilst hybrid technology – combining energy from two power sources - has existed for a long time, it has not previously been commercially viable.

However, Volvo Bus’ launch of its new hybrid bus programme this autumn – the new Volvo B5TL Double Deck here in the UK and the Volvo 7700 hybrid in mainland Europe - signals a generation shift.

With a hybrid solution that is largely based on standard products and with fuel savings of up to 30%, customers can achieve payback on the incremental capital costs far quicker than was previously the case. The technology also lowers the exhaust emissions and noise levels substantially.

SCR Technology – saving money at Euro 4 and Euro 5

Volvo chose the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology route to achieve the current Euro 4 emission standard – resulting, not only in the engine being optimised for low particulate levels, but also Nitrous oxides (NOx) being negated by the catalytic converter and fuel consumption also significantly reduced.

When launching the Euro 4 compliant drivelines, Volvo Bus anticipated a reduction in fuel consumption of 5-7% compared with Euro 3 engines. Data, downloaded from vehicles during planned servicing, shows that these figures are not only being achieved, but on some models bettering initial predictions.

Euro 5 comes into force from October 2009, requiring a further 40% reduction in NOx levels. Volvo’s adoption of SCR technology means that we can already offer products that meet Euro 5, EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) and Euro 5 Incentive.

Euro 5 Emissions Upgrade – now available on B9TL Double Deck buses

Volvo Bus can now offer an engine upgrade on all Volvo B9TL Double Deck buses (subject to chassis age), raising them from Euro 4 to Euro 5 compliance. As well operators benefiting from even cleaner engines with further reductions in emissions, the upgrade will also ensure that vehicles will qualify for a Reduced Pollution Certificate.  This means a potential saving of £335 per vehicle each year for the duration of the vehicle’s lifetime, based on current legislation.

Volvo I-Shift – Stands the Industry on its head

Since its launch in 2003, Volvo I-Shift has become the benchmark gearshift system, combining the ease of operation of an automatic gearshift with the durability and economy of a manual gearbox.

With fuel savings of between 4-10% on each vehicle fitted with I-Shift, Swedish operator Swebus estimates that it is saving 3,000 litres of fuel annually on every vehicle fitted with Volvo I-Shift. With 140 vehicles now fitted with I-Shift, that’s a saving of around 426,000 litres of diesel annually.

Volvo Dynafleet – now available across the Volvo bus and coach range

Dynafleet - a fully integrated transport information system from Volvo – is to be fitted as standard on its flagship Volvo 9700 coach model, as well as being available as an option across the entire Volvo bus and coach range.

Supplied as a complete package with all the necessary hardware and software, Dynafleet enables operators to see in real-time the current location of any number of vehicles in a fleet and to monitor a variety of key information.

A flexible and fully integrated system easily access via a web browser, Volvo Dynafleet is an important tool to assist bus and coach operators in maximising the uptime fuel efficiency of their vehicles, as well as regulating driver activity.

Volvo BRT – leaving no stone unturned in the search for efficient urban transport

BRT – or Bus Rapid Transit is already proving itself as a public transport system that can meet the increasing demands on capacity, environmental sustainability, quality and safety. It’s also one of the most effective ways of cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

Back in 1975 Volvo Bus helped develop the world’s first BRT system in Curitiba, Brazil. Today, Volvo BRT systems are operating in cities such as Bogotá (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Göteborg (Sweden) and Santiago (Chile). Volvo has also worked closely with FirstGroup and Wrightbus on the ftr projects here in the UK.

Worldwide there are about 50 cities with various degrees of BRT implementation, and a further 100 cities planning for BRT.

Since an articulated or bi-articulated Volvo BRT bus replaces more than 100 cars but only takes up 5% of their space, it frees up significant road space. Volvo has also calculated that if $1bn of capital was available, 250km of BRT system could be introduced.  This compared with just 50km of light rail or 10km of Subway system.  All of which makes BRT a highly effective use of scarce financial resources.

BRT also offers significant environmental benefits. In Bogotá for example, the recent implementation of a Volvo BRT system has not only led to a 47% reduction in fuel cost, but also a drastic improvement in air quality, with Nitrous Oxides (NOx) reduced by 65% and particulate emissions (PM) reduced by 75%.

A lifecycle approach to minimising environmental impact

Volvo Buses environmental efforts are based on a life cycle approach, considering the impact of the products from design right through to scrapping and recycling.

Since more than 90% of the total environmental impact of a vehicle arises when it is in operation, the emphasis of Volvo’s environmental work is naturally focused on reducing fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants, which may be harmful to human beings and the environment.

However, Volvo are also continually looking to reduce energy and water consumption at their ISO14001 certified production plants.  The overall aim is to reduce emissions of various pollutants such as solvents, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide during the production process.

Ozone depleting compounds such as CFC and halons are rapidly being phased out.  At most Volvo production facilities, production waste and packaging materials are all source separated for recycling, with material logistics also streamlined.

Speaking at the show, Steve Dewhurst, Managing Director for Volvo Bus in the UK and Ireland said, “Concern for the environment has long been synonymous with the “ironmark” brand, just as Volvo has always been leaders in the field of automotive safety. With the impact of global warming increasingly evident and recent spikes in oil prices, the need for vehicles that minimise environmental impact and costs has become an even greater imperative.”

He added, “I hope that we’ve been able to demonstrate at the show this year, with Volvo Bus, you get environmentally-optimised solutions which will also save you money and help to make best use of the planet’s limited resources.”

ENDS

4 November 2008

Photographs: A selection of images to accompany this and other show press releases is available for download at the media centre section of www.whenproductivitycounts.com