Hybrids and sustainability

Yesterday, Volvo announced the largest contract of hybrid buses in the history of our company. Nova bus will deliver the buses to Translink in Vancouver in 2009.

This is of course a success also for the environment. The hybrid will save fuel and thus both save natural resources and decrease the emissions of green house gases. In addition less hazardous emissions will be let out.

When we look at the recent proposal for sustainable energy in Europe that I wrote about the 23rd of January the targets are set as relative change. That is, the amount of bio fuel in relation to the total fuel used for transports. The European countries are thus encouraged to increase the use of bio fuel and to decrease the use of fossil fuels. Using hybrid technology will simply decrease the use of energy independently of if it originates from bio or fossil sources. This is undoubtedly even better than shifting from fossil to bio. This is however not reflected in the proposal for sustainable energy, decreasing the use of bio fuel and fossil fuels in equal portions will not improve the sustainability index!

The market for hybrid buses has increased rapidly since 2005 in North America. Europe has so far not found the right drivers for promoting the use of less energy.

About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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