On Tuesday the 1st of April, I took part in a debate at the Swiss VöV (Verband öfentlicher Verkehr) in Geneva. The following buss manufacturers were represented: Hess, Mercedes, Neoplan, Scania, Solaris, Van Hool, Volvo.
The focus of the discussion was on new hybrid technology. There was a big interest from all sides. The European bus manufacturers, nu doubt, were missing the economical incentive, such as in the US.The public transport authorities gave various messages ranging from that even trolley buses are motivated from an environmental standpoint to a strictly economical analysis. “Whenever the oil price justifies hybrids they will be selected.”
Volvo displayed three buses at the exhibition. The Bern artic gas bus, the Schaffhausen low floor bus and an Alfabus built on the B7R.
Volvo 7700 artic gas bus in Bern.
But, even more interest was caught by our hybrid demonstrator engine module. Most appreciation was given to the parallel design that enables the standard mechanical back-up in case of failure of key electronic components.