Volvo demonstrates electric bus range

Volvo Bus has marked the arrival of its first right hand drive, full electric 7900e bus in the UK with a special ride and drive event. And it says that it can now bring our full electric and emission free bus to towns and cities across the UK & Ireland.

The Volvo team was joined by customers from both the private and public sectors, press and other key stakeholders for two special ‘Electric Avenue’ Electromobility experience days held at Donington Park in Derbyshire.

In addition to seeing and riding on a selection of Volvo buses and coaches, attendees also had the opportunity to test drive the vehicles for themselves.

Taking centre stage at the event was the Volvo 7900e full electric single deck bus which is already successfully operating in Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Following the event, the vehicle will be embarking on a UK demonstration programme for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. The Volvo 7900e will be making its operational debut during 2018 with TransDev Blazefield, when eight vehicles will be entering service in Harrogate.

The 7900e full electric bus joins the already well-established Volvo B5LH hybrid which was introduced in 2009 and is now the market leader in the UK, and the Volvo B5LHC electric hybrid which operates in both electric and diesel mode and can be recharged on route using OppCharge.

Nick Page, Managing Director of Volvo Bus, said, “Our Volvo 7900e and accompanying technologies have already gathered significant momentum in Europe, having been operated successfully in Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. We can now bring our full electric and emission free bus to towns and cities across the UK & Ireland.

“Our vision for the immediate future is for towns and cities to have the option to provide a blend of vehicles – hybrids, electric hybrids and full electric, which together will help create the city evironments of the future. Used in conjunction with each other, these vehicles will deliver a customer focused solution for operators, while creating a new approach to passenger transport.”

First introduced in mainland Europe in 2015, the Volvo 7900e provides up to 80% lower energy consumption than an equivalent sized diesel bus. It is a two-axle bus with electric motor and batteries and offers zero tailpipe operation. Recharging takes between three – six minutes via OppCharge ‘opportunity charging’ pantographs, installed throughout a city or at a depot, giving flexibility and the possibility of 24 hour continuous operation.

Page added, “The Electric Avenue event was conceived to highlight and discuss with customers and stakeholders, some of the challenges that our society is facing in relation to public transport. These include factors such as our current approach to urban planning, the environment and noise pollution, and how the Volvo Electromobility range can play a key role in meeting these challenges.

“At the event we focused on five key messages which centre around the delivery of emission-free environments, that are quiet and provide world class safe transport for the people who live and work in urban areas. We have also looked at the new urban planning possibilities that electrified vehicles can create, while showcasing the technology that Electromobility can and will deliver now and in the future.”