Volvo, one of the largest bus manufacturers in the world, has the hybrid coach segment covered with a duo of green people movers that stand above the pack. Whether it's the single-level Volvo 7700 or the double-decker B5L hybrid, Volvo's assortment of hybrid buses are ready to tackle pretty much any people-hauling duties required. In May of this year, Volvo Bus Corporation began serial production of hybrid buses and immediately secured more than 150 orders in Europe. Now, thoughts of expansion have taken over and Volvo has agreed to bring its hybrid lineup of people movers to Mexico and Brazil for field trials.
A lone Volvo 7700 Hybrid has arrived in Mexico City where it will see duty in the historic center area and also be featured at an upcoming conference on sustainable transport in Mexico City and at the COP 16 climate conference in Cancun. Volvo also shipped a single 7700 Hybrid bus to South America where it will undergo field testing in the Brazilian cities of Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and, later, in Bogota, Columbia. Volvo is confident that hybrid buses will sweep the world and hopes that its trials in Mexico and South America prove that the vehicle's benefits extend beyond reduced fuel consumption. Volvo Bus Corporation's environmental manager, Edward Jobson, envisions a booming hybrid bus market with Volvo leading the way:
Competition in the hybrid bus market may be sparse, but you can bet that other companies dream of capturing the segment as well.I am convinced that hybrid buses will dominate city traffic globally in a few years' time and Volvo has great prospects of becoming one of the largest suppliers of such buses.
Volvo: Volvo's Hybrid Buses in Brazil and Mexico
"Volvo currently has the world's most efficient hybrid solution"
Volvo's hybrid buses are being sold successfully in Europe. The company is now taking the next step and will commence test driving in Brazil and Mexico.
In May this year, Volvo Buses launched serial production of its hybrid buses, the Volvo 7700 Hybrid and the double-decker Volvo B5L Hybrid. In a short time, the company has secured orders for about 150 hybrid buses in Europe.
But the increasing demand for hybrid buses derives not only from Europe but also from several other places around the world.
"Researchers currently agree that we must find methods to reduce total energy consumption," says Edward Jobson , Environment Manager at Volvo Buses. "Hybrid technology is the best way to achieve this in public transport, this is being recognized by an increasing number of decision-makers and Volvo can offer the most efficient solution.
Consequently, Volvo Buses has initiated test driving of buses with Volvo hybrid technology in South America and Mexico.
In South America, test driving is being conducted in cooperation with the Clinton Climate Initiative organization, which focuses on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. The organization has an agreement with Volvo, whereby they jointly demonstrate the major benefits provided by the hybrid technology and the BRT system with regard to reducing carbon emissions.
For the past few days, the first hybrid bus has been operating in test traffic in Curitiba, Brazil, in collaboration with URBS, the company responsible for local traffic in the city.
In 2014, Brazil will be hosting the Soccer World Cup and this is one of several reasons why many cities in Brazil are investing significantly to create more efficient and environmentally sound transport solutions. The test driving of Volvo's hybrid buses is in line with this effort.
After Curitiba, the Volvo 7700 Hybrid will be tested in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and later also in Bogota, Colombia.
A Volvo 7700 Hybrid also recently arrived in Mexico, where it will be tested in Mexico City for a dedicated service running through the historic centre to connect two BRT lines using hybrids exclusively. It will also feature at a conference on sustainable transports in Mexico City and, in particular, at the major COP 16 climate conference in Cancun.
The unique hybrid technology of Volvo is a parallel hybridwhere a smaller diesel engine and an electric motor can power the bus independently, as well as by both engines simultaneously.
The brake energy is recovered, stored in a lithium-ion battery provides energy to the electric motor for drive power. Several of the auxiliary systems also use electricity from the battery.
With a parallel hybrid, the battery is smaller and lighter compared to a serial hybrid. For Volvo Buses the result is that the hybrid bus can carry more passengers than its diesel counterpart.
The fuel savings is also bigger with a parallel hybrid and that in a wider field of applications. The fuel consumption in a Volvo hybrid bus is reduced by up to 35% and greenhouse-gas carbon emissions are cut by an equal amount.
Other emissions are also about 40-50% lower. For countries that today use buses with Euro III engines, other emissions are up to 80% lower with the Volvo hybrid bus.
Volvo's hybrid technology also contributes to a more silent city environment since the diesel engine switches off at bus stops. The bus starts only with the help of an electric motor, which results in a quiet and exhaust-free environment at bus stops.
"Volvo currently has the world's most efficient hybrid solution," says Edward Jobson. "It generates substantial environmental gains regardless of whether it is used in heavy city traffic or sparse traffic, and even where distances between bus stops are long.
"I am convinced that hybrid buses will dominate city traffic globally in a few years' time and Volvo has great prospects of becoming one of the largest suppliers of such buses."
Volvo Bus Corporation is one of the world's largest manufacturer of large buses and coaches. The range comprises complete vehicles, chassis, bus bodies, transport system solutions for metropolitan traffic, leasing, financing and service contract maintenance. Volvo Bus Corporation is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. For more information, please visit http://www.volvobuses.com/