The arrival of the first right hand drive 7900e full electric single-deck bus in the UK highlights the further development of Volvo’s Electromobility range.
Showcased to customers and stakeholders from both the public and private sector at the Volvo Bus ‘Electric Avenue’ experience days held at Donington Park last week, the 7900e full electric 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.
The Electromobility vehicles are part of Volvo’s global strategy to provide cleaner, quieter and more energy efficient public transport in towns and cities throughout the world.
With the first Volvo 7900e vehicles set to enter service in the UK in early 2018 with Transdev Blazefield in Harrogate, the company believes it can provide everything for a complete electric solution for urban environments, now and in the future.
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. Volvo’s Electric Hybrids come as single deck (7900EH) or double deck (B5LHC), with electric motor, batteries and a five litre diesel engine. Recharging is common with the 7900e and also takes between three and six minutes via OppCharge opportunity charging pantographs, installed throughout the city or at the depot, again giving flexibility and the possibility of 24 hour continuous operation.
The Volvo Hybrid is a two-axle hybrid bus (7900H in single deck or the B5LH in double deck form) with an electric motor, a battery and a five litre diesel engine. First introduced in 2009, it is quiet, emission free at start and standstill and offers up to 39% lower energy consumption than an equivalent sized diesel bus. All three vehicles are certified as low emission buses.
Volvo Group has worked closely with Siemens and ABB to develop opportunity charging or OppCharge. This system is now being developed with other European companies as a common open interface for charging providing interoperability for local authorities and operators. The system can be specified with both 150kW and 300kW charging capability. All moving parts are built into the pantograph reducing weight and complexity on the vehicle, communication between the bus and the charging station takes place via WiFi. The connector rails are roof-mounted and are weather-proof in conditions from -25C to +45C.