World premiere for Volvo double-deck electric hybrid 03 November 2016

Volvo Bus’s double-deck electric hybrid got its world premiere at the Euro Bus Expo event this week (1—3 November 2016, NEC, Birmingham).

Dubbed B5LHC Double Deck, the new bus represents the latest in Volvo’s electromobility project for smart city operations, and builds on the Volvo 7900 single-deck electric hybrid bus, launched in 2014.

Its electric hybrid driveline is effectively an extension of the technology used in the Volvo B5LH Hybrid – the essential difference being a more powerful electric motor, increased capacity lithium ion battery (rated at 19kWh) and the on-board equipment for opportunity charging, based on the OppCharge system.

Volvo Bus managing director Nick Page says that the new electric hybrid can operate with zero tailpipe emissions in electric mode for around 7km between charges.

That not only means less noise and cleaner air but also the opportunity to rethink where buses might be routed – including into shopping malls and other enclosed places.

Once outside city centre zero emissions zones, the B5LHC – which also has regenerative braking – can perform as hybrid diesel vehicle, giving greater flexibility and operating range.

“The new Volvo B5LHC Electric Hybrid is an exciting addition to our city bus range, saving up to 75% in diesel fuel cost compared to an equivalent diesel double deck bus,” states Page.

“C02, NOx and particulate emissions are also reduced in proportion, improving air quality and noise levels – something that will be increasingly required in our towns and cities,” he adds.

The launch bus – which has been built to TfL (Transport for London) specifications and bodied by Wrightbus – is one of a pair scheduled for evaluation in London during 2017.

Certified with a passenger capacity of 87, the new Electric Hybrid Deck has 43 seats on top with 17 seats in the lower saloon to a two-door specification.

The chassis specification includes Volvo I-Shift automated transmission, electrically controlled air suspension with kneeling function, electronically controlled disc brakes with brake blending and a spacious driver’s environment with Volvo dashboard.

In other news, also new on the stand was the Jonckheere JHV2, shown on a Volvo B11R chassis. Displayed in Travellers Choice livery, this is the first time the JHV2 been seen in the UK, and this bus forms one of eight B11R vehicles ordered by the Carnforth operator.

“The new look Jonckheere is the result of a significant investment and commitment from one of our key bodybuilder partners, and we are delighted to have it as a key exhibit on our stand at this year’s EBE,” stated James Hyde, retail sales director for Volvo Bus.

“It is particularly exciting that we are also announcing two significant B11R orders which will feature the new JHV2 body, from two the UK’s most successful coach operators – Travellers Choice, as well as Park’s of Hamilton."

Brian Tinham

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Volvo Group UK Ltd

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