Volvo hybrid bus to hit Bangalore roads soon

Volvo hybrid bus are soon going to ply on the roads of India’s IT capital, Bangalore. The Volvo Hybrid Bus unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo earlier this month, would be launched on Bangalore roads soon, Karnataka Transport Minister R Ashoka said.

The 105-seater single bus would have a two-month trial run in the city, expected to be from this month itself. As per a preliminary report, it cuts diesel fuel costs by 30 per cent, while emissions are significantly less. According to officials, the Volvo 7700 hybrid has a diesel engine and an electric motor, which can be used either independently or jointly.

The battery that drives the motor is charged through re-generative braking. The engine shuts off when the vehicle is stationary and does not start again till the bus reaches 15-20 kmph, further saving fuel, they said.

The Volvo Hybrid solution is already commercialised and operating across 20 cities of the world with a proven track record of saving up to 37% fuel consumption & over 50% in hazardous emissions in actual customer operations. Present at the launch was Akash Passey, Managing Director & CEO, Volvo Buses in South Asia. The unveiling follows the recent launch of the New Volvo Bus Range including the models on display – Volvo 9400PX coach, Volvo 7400XL multi-axle city bus and Volvo 9100 coach.

Volvo commenced the serial production for Europe of the Volvo 7700 Hybrid in May 2010. This bus was developed following several years of research & development of the hybrid technology.

Since its launch, the Volvo Hybrid solution has emerged as a commercially viable bus and has been adopted for regular use in countries in the Americas and Europe. 8 out of 10 customers have thus far returned for repeat purchase of these buses.  In December 2011, Volvo Buses has secured orders for a total exceeding 450 hybrid buses from Mexico, Brazil and Europe.

Akash Passey, Managing Director & CEO, Volvo Buses in South Asia, said, “At Volvo we have what is considered today as the world’s most efficient hybrid solution. Importantly it’s a part of our regular production system, developed by Volvo in-house, and proven in real operations for a long time now. Across various cities, across various routes it has given up to 37% of fuel savings, more uptime than typical diesel vehicle & of course saved over 50% in hazardous emissions. The Volvo Hybrid is very much the solution cities & environmentalists have asked for. We are ready. All we await is the demand & the direction from the authorities, so that we can apply this solution specifically to Indian needs.

Today, the Volvo 7700 Hybrid has been unveiled to showcase our intent and readiness for India.”

The Volvo Hybrid solution is a complete Volvo in-house design which has meant – no compromise. Moreover there is high commonality of components with the existing range of Volvo buses.

The Volvo 7700 Hybrid is equipped with a smaller 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, which creates a silent and exhaust-free environment at bus stops.

The bus then restarts only with the help of the electric engine. The diesel engine does not start until the bus reaches 15-20 km/hour.

Another advantage is that the bus generates significant fuel savings regardless of where it operates. Many of the older hybrid solutions are only efficient in highly congested city traffic, but Volvo’s technology functions equally well when there is a greater distance between bus stops.