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Gothenburg’s ‘Silent Bus Sessions’ Highlight Quiet Electric Bus Routes

To promote and showcase the advantages of sustainable public transport, riders on Gothenburg’s bus route 55, which is now serviced by three emissions-free and renewably-powered electric buses, got a few surprise acoustic concerts when they got on board, thanks to a campaign from Sweden’s ElectriCity initiative.

In the first live sessions ever recorded on an electric city bus while it drives its regular route, the Silent Bus Sessions feature videos from two of Sweden’s hottest artists, Seinabo Sey and Zara Larsson, and serve to highlight just one of the benefits of clean transport, in this case a few of the nearly-silent 100% electric buses from Volvo.

Seinabo Sey and the Tensta Gospel Choir deliver an a cappella performance of Hard Time, with only the sound of handclaps and the occasional window-thump to accompany the haunting vocals, which makes the recording of it during a city bus route even more remarkable, as the background noise of other traffic is all you can faintly hear, with the bus itself practically silent.

She also performed an a cappella version of her hit Younger:

“This shows how creative forces meet in Gothenburg. Silent electric buses eliminate noise and exhaust gases and allow people to enjoy music and creativity on their way to work or school. Music, culture and technical development are among Gothenburg’s strengths, and it’s wonderful to see what happens when they’re combined together.” – Anneli Hulthén, Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board, Gothenburg

Swedish pop star Zara Larrson also performed for passengers on the electric buses on Gothenburg’s route 55, delivering an acoustic version of Carry You Home, plus a brand new tune titled Better You:

The electric buses, which operate on the route along with seven hybrid electrics (70% electric travel), are described as “80% more energy-efficient” than conventional diesel buses. Because they’re also virtually silent, at least as far as engine noises go, they can be a huge benefit to not only the passengers, but also to everyone along the routes, in terms of both exhaust emissions and noise levels. These buses are fast-charging, with the recharge taking place in about 6 minutes during the two end stops, and the buses have onboard WiFi and device charging ports for passengers, which may help boost electric bus appeal for riders.

“Noise is one of the biggest health problems in big cities around the world. Volvo’s electric buses are silent and emission-free, and we are convinced that electric public transport in cities is the way forward to achieve sustainable transport. But a real difference can only be achieved if there is collaboration between vehicle manufacturers, urban planners, public transport, energy companies and academia. This collaboration is the unique strength of the ElectriCity project.” – Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses

This demo electric bus route is a core part of ElectriCity’s mission of developing and evaluating sustainable transport solutions, as a “collaborative project between academia, industry and the public sector and is aimed at developing, demonstrating and evaluating new sustainable public transport systems for the future.” Volvo initiated the collaboration of the 14 partners, and it is hoped that this new campaign will help bring publicity to the project and raise awareness of electric public transport as a sustainable solution.

 
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Written By

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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