Volvo’s first all-electric bus in final tests in Gothenburg 08 May 2015

Volvo Buses’ new all-electric prototype bus is now being tested for the first time in traffic in its Swedish homeland, in Gothenburg, ahead of the official launch on 15 June 2015, when it will ply the route between Lindholmen and Chalmers/Johanneberg.

The new route – the result of the ElectriCity venture, which develops, demonstrates and evaluates future sustainable public transport solutions – will be served by three all-electric buses and seven electric hybrids, all Volvo.

All the new vehicles have been equipped with battery packs that can be quick-charged with renewable electricity at their end terminals – with Volvo claiming that energy consumption of the electric buses is about 80% down on corresponding diesel buses.

"Right now we are carrying out final testing to ensure everything works just as it should when regular traffic gets under way," says Håkan Agnevall, president Volvo Buses – adding that the tests mark a major milestone in Volvo's development of electrified buses.

Agnevall also explains that the developments go beyond its quiet and exhaust-free operation, pointing to the bus's low entry, extra-wide central door, which opens onto a large low, flat floor area for passengers with buggies or wheelchairs.

And he points to the fact that, although only 10.7 metres long (more than a metre shorter than a conventional bus), it carries up to 86 passengers – with the central driver's seat contributing to increased capacity.

Commercial launch of Volvo's new all- electric buses is due in 2017, when the company plans to start series production.

In the meantime, before it enters regular operations Volvo's new electric bus will also be shown at the UITP public-transport show in Milan on June 8—10. UITP brings together public transport purchasers from all over the world who come to see the latest developments in the industry.

Brian Tinham

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