Volvo has announced plans to launch a new hybrid bus for Europe at the IAA Bus and Truck Show in Hanover, Germany this September. No stranger to building big hybrids, Volvo had been waiting to have a go at a bus until it was more "commercially viable." Now, with many parts based on standard products, the company believes it is approaching a "generational shift" and will be able to save customers up to 30 percent of their fuel cost which would allow them to recover the extra bump in the price tag relatively quickly.

The first hybrid model is a 12 meter (40 foot) low-floor city bus with all the components of its parallel hybrid drivetrain sourced from Volvo. The hybrid uses a 5 liter diesel engine that is smaller than the one normally used in this chassis which allows them to add the extra hybrid bits within the same space. The weight of the hybrid is about the same as the diesel model was but has better weight distribution and so can carry more passengers. Though it's not mentioned in the information from Volvo, there is an articulated model present in the press images (see gallery below) and we suspect that this may be part of their future plans - at least, we hope so. The official press release is after the break.



[Source: Volvo]

PRESS RELEASE


This autumn, Volvo Buses is launching its new hybrid bus in Europe, the Volvo 7700 Hybrid. It is being unveiled for the first time at the major IAA bus and truck show in Hanover, Germany, in September. Volvo's hybrid technology generates a fuel saving of up to 30%.

The environment, particularly climate change, is currently one of the world's most important issues. We all have a responsibility to contribute to a solution to today's and tomorrow's problems. This is particularly so for those working in the transport industry.

Hybrid drivelines on our buses are an important step to reduce fuel consumption and, consequently, the emission of carbon dioxide. Hybrid technology has existed for a long time, but has not previously been commercially viable.

Volvo Buses' launch of its hybrid bus this autumn signals a generation shift. With a hybrid solution that is largely based on standard products and with fuel savings of 20-30%, customers will relatively quickly earn payback on the extra cost for the bus. The technology also lowers the exhaust emissions and noice levels substantially.

The Volvo 7700 is the first hybrid model to roll out. It is a 12-meter low-floor city bus. Volvo Buses has chosen to develop a parallel hybrid where all components are Volvo components. The bus has a smaller, 5-liter diesel engine and as a result, the entire driveline fits in the same space as in a diesel-powered Volvo 7700. The hybrid bus weights largely the same as a diesel-driven bus, but has a better weight distribution, meaning that the hybrid bus can take more passengers than today's diesel bus.

Fuel consumption is also a point of focus regarding tourist buses. At its stand, Volvo Buses is showing the Volvo 9700, which is Coach of the Year 2008, and the Volvo 9900. The fuel-consumption figures for these models are among the best in the market, largely thanks to engines with SCR technology and Volvo's popular I-shift gearbox.

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