Continued success for Volvo’s hybrid buses

Volvo Buses continues to go from strength to strength with its hybrid buses. So far, more than 800 have been sold and with the latest, extremely fuel-efficient Volvo 7900 Hybrid version, interest has reached new heights. This autumn, several new products will be unveiled that further contribute to customer productivity.

Since Volvo Buses introduced hybrid technology a few years ago, fuel consumption has been reduced step by step. Compared with a corresponding diesel version, the Volvo 7900 Hybrid uses a massive 39 percent less fuel and has a correspondingly lower climate impact than a diesel bus, and just half the nitrogen oxide and particle emissions. At the same time, weight has dropped by 500 kg, which means the hybrid bus can take seven more passengers than its diesel counterpart.

More new features this autumn
This autumn sees the introduction of several new products that can help cut customers’ fuel bills still further. A newly developed electric door opening and closing mechanism that cuts fuel consumption by a couple of percent is one example. Another is Volvo Bus Telematics, whose hardware is now included as standard in every hybrid bus. With the telematics system on board, the customer can link up to various online services, for instance to monitor in detail how much fuel the bus is consuming in different operating conditions.

Hybrid articulated bus launched in 2013
2013 will also see the launch of the Volvo 7900 Hybrid as an articulated bus. This model will serve as an important reinforcement to the product portfolio. The new 18-metre bus will give a fuel saving on a par with that of the Volvo 7900 Hybrid and will be able to carry at least 150 passengers. This means that operators will be able to further cut fuel consumption and emissions per passenger.

High reliability
Volvo has so far sold more than 800 hybrid buses globally. This commercial success is a result of the hybrid’s excellent energy efficiency and its favourable environmental properties, as well as its high reliability. Data from the hybrids already on the road show that Volvo’s technology delivers in terms of both fuel consumption and operating reliability.

“Volvo’s hybrids are as reliable as their diesel buses and the fuel savings have met all our expectations,” says Peter Wegrotzki, Deputy Operations Manager at bus operator Jasper, which handles the seven Volvo hybrids operating with Hamburger Hochbahn.

Commercial product that uses standard components
With the exception of its driveline, the Volvo 7900 Hybrid is built from the same standard components as Volvo’s other city buses in the Volvo 7900 series. This simplifies maintenance, repairs and parts supplies and means far shorter time spent in the workshop and more time on the road. The body is mostly made of aluminium and fibreglass, which means low weight and thus also lower fuel consumption as well as more passengers. The driver’s cab and safety features are also the same as in the rest of the city bus range. For instance, the driver gets conveniently positioned controls and a seat with generous adjustment scope for the best possible seating position. Large glass panels, three-part rear-view mirrors and the option of a reversing camera give good visibility all round. The Volvo 7900 Hybrid is approved as per the EU’s R66 norm.

“With the Volvo 7900 Hybrid we have not only a fuel-efficient and environmentally optimised bus but also a modern, commercially viable product built using the same chassis and body components and offering the very same high operating reliability as our other city buses,” says Volvo Buses’ Environment Director Edward Jobson.

Next step: plug-in
At the same time as Volvo continues to optimise hybrid technology in today’s buses, the company is also working on a plug-in hybrid where the bus’s batteries are recharged via the mains grid. This technology, which permits energy savings of up to 60 percent, will undergo field trials in Gothenburg in spring 2013. Volvo buses powered solely by electricity are already in operation in China and are being tested in Canada.

Increased proportion of hybrids
“Hybrid technology is not just here to stay, it’s here to grow and develop. As increasing numbers of customers see that the technology delivers on its promises, we expect that demand will continue growing. Hybrids and all-electric vehicles will represent an increasingly large part of our product range in the years ahead,” says Edward Jobson.

More information about Volvo’s hybrid bus is available from the Volvo Buses YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL2GpBOm94Q

For more information, please contact:
Helena Lind, Media & Marketing Manager Volvo Bus Corporation
+ 46 765 53 62 57