“With Volvo’s new hybrid technology, we expect to be able to reduce the fuel consumption of buses by up to 35 percent,” says Edward Jobson, Environmental Manager at Volvo Buses.
Volvo has developed a parallel hybrid, which means that a smaller diesel engine and an electric engine will work in parallel or independently to drive the bus. This technology optimises diesel and electric power for the best possible performance and least possible environmental effect.
At bus stops and traffic signals, for example, the diesel engine can be turned off completely. The bus is started solely with the help of the electric engine, which results in an emission-free and very silent operation. The diesel engine is not started again until some distance from the bus stop.
Volvo Buses expects to be able to sell its first hybrid buses within a few years. However, the advanced technology involved requires a considerable amount of continued development work to make the buses commercially feasible. Since the hybrid vehicles that are currently available in the market are extremely expensive, various types of subsidies are often required to make their use commercially viable.
“However, we expect our hybrid buses to be much more cost-effective than the buses based on the current technology. Our customers will ultimately be able to conduct their operations without requiring extra subsidies from society. In fact, this is also a necessity if hybrid technology is to have a major impact on the market and contribute to a real reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.” Edward Jobson adds.
The Swedish Energy Authority has now granted Volvo Buses subsidies for its continued work on developing the hybrid driveline and the hybrid technology for two bus models.
The batteries required for the hybrid bus will increase the weight of the vehicle somewhat. However, because Volvo Buses has developed a parallel hybrid, the company can use a smaller and lighter engine, and thus keep passenger capacity at the same level as for today’s buses.
Volvo Buses expects to be able to reduce the weight of the bus significantly, compared with today’s buses, thanks to the lightweight body. This would result in a further reduction in fuel consumption.
July 12, 2007
For further information, please contact Christina Fjellman, Communications Manager, Volvo Buses, +46 31 322 42 80.