One of the world’s largest challenges is reducing total energy consumption. One way to achieve this goal in public transport is to use hybrid buses that recycle the brake energy, thus significantly reducing the fuel consumption.
More decision-makers around the world are recognizing the considerable benefits of hybrid technology in city buses. In recent years, Volvo Buses has sold hundreds of hybrid buses through its Volvo brand in Europe, Nova Bus in North America and Sunwin Bus in China.
The company has now also received its first hybrid order in South America. The city of Curitiba has ordered 60 hybrid buses for delivery from 2012.
“Several of the largest cities in Brazil and the rest of South America tested a Volvo 7700 Hybrid in 2010 and at the beginning of this year,” says Luis Carlos Pimenta, President of Volvo Buses in Latin America. “The tests were very successful and contributed to this first order, which we believe will be followed by additional orders from other cities.”
Consequently, Volvo Buses has decided to commence manufacturing hybrid buses in Curitiba. It will involve the same hybrid technology used in Volvo’s hybrid buses and trucks in Europe and which is currently the world’s most efficient for heavy vehicles.
The buses are equipped with a small diesel engine and an electric motor, which can be used independently or jointly. The electric motor is driven by energy from a battery that is charged when the bus brakes. At bus stops, the diesel engine switches off completely and the bus restarts using only the electric motor, which creates a silent and exhaust-free environment at bus stops.
“Volvo’s hybrid bus reduces fuel consumption by up to 35% and emissions of carbon dioxide by a corresponding amount,” says Luis Pimenta. “Other exhaust emissions decline by 80-90% compared with current levels in South America.”