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Volvo launches electric buses targeting ME market

Volvo Buses tests concept all-electric public transport vehicle ahead of series production in 2017

The energy consumption of the electric buses is estimated to be 80% lower than that of corresponding diesel buses.
The energy consumption of the electric buses is estimated to be 80% lower than that of corresponding diesel buses.

Volvo Buses has introduced a concept electric bus to be used as part of the public transport system in Gothenburg, Sweden, but according to the company, the vehicle’s future may be in the Middle East as it gears up for series production of the all-electric vehicles in 2017.

The concept bus is silent and emission-free and runs on electricity generated by renewable energy, as well as on batteries that are quickly recharged with renewable electricity at its terminal stops, one of which is an indoor terminal – an option facilitated by the buses’ silent and emission-free systems.

Measuring 10.7m in length, the electric bus can carry up to 86 passengers, while its energy consumption is estimated to be 80% lower than that of corresponding diesel buses. The vehicles, launched mid-June 2015, are also 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,” Steve Hedouin, VP of the Volvo Bus Corporation MEA said.

“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 public transport systems, so we are actively looking to bring models such as this to the region in the future.”

While Volvo Buses already markets a range of electrified buses – including the Volvo 7900 Hybrid, with more than 2000 units sold; and the Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid – this is Volvo’s first entirely electrically driven bus.

The electric bus programme in Gothenburg is a result of ElectriCity, 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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