Published on December 21st, 2011 | by Adam Johnston2
Volvo Leading the Hybrid Bus Highway
With congested cities that continue to grow, more and more cities are looking towards public transportation as a way to move people around and get people not using cars.
However, despite the benefits of public transportation, many public transit buses still run on good old fossil fuel diesel. With carbon emissions reaching record highs, one wonders if public buses running completely on fossil fuels and wasting energy is efficient.
Enter Swedish automotive company Volvo, which has been getting into the clean tech game in a big way by developing hybrid buses.
Anders Kroon, technical official with Volvo, and his team began to work on the concept of buses that would be more sustainable. Call them hybrid buses. Hybrid buses use a combination of an internal combustion engine, along with an electric engine, which can cut the amount of fossil fuel energy used by the bus.
Volvo’s process to create a superb hybrid bus took ten years, which involved a team that discussed how the technology would be developed.
When all was done, Volvo’s 7700 model was created. Over 300 of these buses have been shipped all over the world, from Brazil to Europe (including London), as demand has been brisk.
The buses cut carbon emissions by 50%, while saving on fuel by 34%, 7% more then the nearest competitor in the hybrid bus market.
Part of the reason for the massive cut in carbon emissions and fuel savings is from the way the team designed the bus.
The price for Volvo’s hybrid buses are more costly then regular buses. However, the energy savings make up for those costs with a full return on the investment within 5 to 7 years, according to sources from Volvo.
Only time will tell, with the success Volvo has had with its hybrid buses, if other companies will get more involved and build them. Only time will tell, also, when other regions of the world and other cities decide to think in long-term savings by investing in hybrids.
What do you think about hybrid buses and their potential for moving people in cities?
Photo Credit: Volvo Group