Bus fleet renewal theme at UITP Congress

This week the UITP Congress took place in Dubai. Public transport stake holders from all over the world meet for seminars and exhibitions. Environmental issues are high on the agenda.

Volvo Bus presented our electro mobility offers:

Hybrid buses such as Volvo 7700 Hybrid and Nova Bus hybrid

Hybrid buses with plug-in possibility and extended electrical range

Fully electrical battery buses, as presented by Sunwin at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010

Fully electrical super capacitor buses, in traffic down town Shanghai since 2006

We see a future where the different technologies target different kinds of operation. Diesel buses, hybrid buses, plug-in hybrids and fully electrical buses will grow in parallel.

In a speech at the congress, Volvo Bus CEO, Håkan Karlsson, presented data on the benefits of renewal of the bus fleet. This subject deserves a separate blog so let me come back in a near future. Never the less the conclusion is that the top three priorities to improve the environmental impact from person transports are:

1, Attract the car users to the buses

2, Exchange old buses to realise a renewal of the fleet

3, Invest in hybrid buses with low energy use, low emissions and low global warming impact




Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, Swedish Minister of Infra Strucutre


The Swedish minister of infra structure Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd visited us. Sweden is about to “deregulate” the bus operations, meaning that it will be open for any bus operator to provide services to any new or existing rout. The open market will put the traveller in focus. In the future the primary challenge for the operators will be to attract new travellers; be it by environmental performance, price, comfort, riders privacy, access to internet, service frequency or door to door services.


The issue is complicated by the fact that communities are subsidising the transports today. In addition an open bus market will compete with heavily subsidised trains and trams. It will be interesting to see how the different electrified buses will compete with the rail bound electro mobility. The electrical buses will lower the cost for public transports. When will we see an open competition independently of if the wheels are of steel or rubber?

Dr. Rashid bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water

The Environmental Minister of the United Arab Emirate visited Volvo. When I visited Dubai two years ago the public transports were under development. Now, a driver less elevated rail and plenty of feeder buses provide transports in the city. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, public transports target solutions to the congestion and air quality issues, mainly. As most dense cities with lots of very high buildings traffic congestion is an issue. It is encouraging to learn about the rapid development of the public transports as well as the interest in hybrid buses. 


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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