Latest Volvo hybrid bus gets fuel-efficiency boost11 June 2012

Latest version of Volvo's hybrid buses are about 37% more fuel-efficient than the corresponding diesel variant. That is far better than customers, and the company's own experts, expected just a few years ago.

When Volvo Buses started field testing hybrid buses in 2007, the company calculated on a fuel savings of about 25% in urban operations, compared with the corresponding diesel bus.

When the first commercially built hybrid buses were launched two years later, their fuel consumption was about 35% lower.

Since then, the fuel consumption of new hybrid buses has dropped even further, thanks not least to lower vehicle weight and electric drive for several auxiliary systems.

"Fuel data from the 260 Volvo hybrids already in service throughout the world shows that reality surpasses our calculations. At the same time we are continuing to develop the technology towards even better fuel efficiency and lower emissions," states Edward Jobson, environment manager at Volvo Buses.

One of Luxemburg's largest travel and transport companies, Sales-Lentz, for example, took delivery of its first Volvo hybrid in 2009 and now runs a total of 1 hybrids, operating both in inner-city urban traffic and in rural areas.

"The fuel consumption of our Volvo hybrids is an average of 25.7 litres/100 kilometres, which is a very good figure. At the same time, we're making a positive impact on the environment," says Jos Sales, CEO of Sales Lentz.

An additional two Volvo Hybrids will be delivered in September this year.

While continuing to optimise the hybrid technology in today's buses, Volvo Buses says it is also testing a variety of additional solutions such as a plug-in hybrid, where the bus's batteries are recharged via the main electrical grid. With this system, fuel savings of up to 60% are possible.

Since Volvo started building hybrid buses in 2010, it has sold more than 650 units to customers in 18 countries.

John Challen

Related Companies
Volvo Group UK Ltd

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