Volvo Buses has launched a new version of its 7900 Electric bus, which claims to have improved significantly by offering extended range and more charging options. The company has not disclosed the driving range of the new bus. The battery capacity, in particular, has been significantly extended and will be available with a choice of 150, 200 and 250 kWh. Volvo says that the bus will be able to run 'far longer' between charges, allowing it to be utilised more efficiently throughout the day.
"This is a very important reinforcement of our electromobility product range, giving our customers maximum flexibility in their daily operations. During peak hours the buses can operate continuously without stopping to recharge. Instead, the batteries can be charged once traffic is at off-peak levels. On shorter routes, they can even run throughout the day and be charged at night," says Hakan Agnevall, president, Volvo Buses.
He further says, "As the demand for electric buses has grown very rapidly both in Europe and the rest of the world, it feels really good that we can offer cities an electric-bus system that provides better preconditions than ever to switch to sustainable, quiet and emission-free public transport."
It has also expanded the range of options regarding the way the batteries are charged. The batteries in the new Volvo 7900 Electric can be fast-charged at the route's end stops, via the open and competition-neutral OppCharge interface, or they can now also be charged via cable, CCS, which is the European standard for charging of electric vehicles from the mains grid.
"Operators can choose the charge interface that best suits each particular occasion. For instance, CCS is suitable for high-power charging when the bus is parked in the depot," says Johnny Lidman, product manager, City Buses Europe, Volvo Buses.
The new Volvo 7900 Electric will be launched in the market and has its premiere showing at the Busworld international bus fair in Kortrijk, Belgium, between October ,20-25. The first models of Volvo's new generation of electric buses are expected to become operational at the end of 2018. Apart from the new launch, it currently has three clean mobility bus offerings -- 7900 electric-hybrid, 7900 hybrid and the existing 7900 electric.
The electric buses are sold in the form of a complete, turnkey solution, with the company taking care of all maintenance of both vehicles and batteries at a fixed monthly cost.
In an earlier interview with Autocar Professional, VRV Sriprasad, MD South Asia, Volvo Buses, said, “If electro-mobility gains traction in India, we have the hybrid bus and we will look to bring our electric bus at the appropriate time. From the supply side, we are ready. As regards demand, we are waiting for the high-end bus market to pick up as it is still at a very nascent stage and not yet matured.”
With India gearing up towards its ambitious target of having all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030, it could well be that Volvo launches the 7900, or any other electric bus in India too.
Volvo has been pursuing electric mobility programmes for around 10 years. Last year the company had showcased the Volvo B5LHC double-deck electric hybrid at the Euro Bus Expo at the NEC, Birmingham. The new 7900 further expands the fleet .
Highlights of Volvo 7900 electric-bus
All-electric propulsion, two-axle 12-metre city bus with low floor and three doors
Quiet and emission-free operation.
80 percent lower energy consumption than corresponding diesel bus.
Battery capacity 150, 200 or 250 kWh.
Can be charged via OppCharge or CCS (250 kWh charge only via CCS)
Operating range up to 200 km depending on topography and driving conditions.
Volvo's advanced steering system Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) and the safety-enhancing Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection Warning are available as options.