In June 2015 Volvo and the ElectriCity partners introduced electric buses on a new bus route, route 55, in Göteborg (see the blog from the 26th of June). It has become an unusual success with a ridership that beats the plan. In addition more than 4000 international visitors from all over the world have visited route 55 and the ElectriCity partners. Behind the success lies a great deal of innovation and new development.
Today, the 6th of April 2016, at the yearly general assembly of the Volvo Group, the team and coworkers behind the electric bus are awarded for the development efforts and innovation. The developmentwork has been characterized by a close cooperation of widely different parts of the Volvo organization, from traveler and bus operators via research and science, design, mechanics, controls and telematics. And, those are just examples.
The team was represented by: top row Martin Sanne, Erik Lauri, Ove Hjortsberg, Andreas Gillström, mid row myself (Edward Jobson), Mats Andersson, Fredrika Berndtsson, Roger Andersson, sitting Patrik Pettersson, and John Lord. Not in picture Mattias Åsbogård.
The clean and silent buses are quilifiers for getting close to the travellers. In the picture is the temporary library at Bananpiren. And, many visitors have appreciated the indoor bus stop at Lindholmen.
The electric buses in Göteborg are charged rapidly by up to 300 kW. It takes roughly 3-4 minutes to charge 10 km drive.
The main building blocks of the innovative development are:
- An efficient lightweight high-speed electric motor and an in-house developed 2-speed gearbox that realize high power in combination with high efficiency. It is unique to maintain high efficiency of the electric drive in such a broad speed range. This in turn enables a positive helix of efficiency improvements by lower thermal losses, less energy use, and higher passenger capacity.
- A new control system platform for electric buses including a multi-battery energy management system that allows us to utilize the energy in the most efficient way to the electric drive as well as to auxiliaries, such as steering servo, air compressor and climate system.
- A new charging system that enable fast opportunity charging of 300 kW. Rapid charging enables buses to use the lay-over time at the terminal end stops for charging. The new charging technology is now introduced as an open platform for the bus industry in Europe.
- An off-board back-office telematics environment that enables precise control of the properties of the buses meter-by-meter in the city, Zone Management. E.g. by setting different speed limitation outside a school during school hours.
The new electric bus concept enables very high transport efficiency in combination with resource efficiency (optimized amount of batteries) and high passenger capacity (minimized component weight).
The passengers benefit from silent and emission free buses that can take us close to our destinations. The ElectriCity partner, Västtrafik, demonstrates the benefits of an in-door bus stop at one of the terminals stations of route 55. The
ElectriCity electric buses (to the right) get around in the world, here at a visit in Scotland, during 2015.The local Volvo 7900 Hybrid bus to the left has contributed to increased ridership at Lothian Buses in Edinburgh.
We are very proud that Volvo has recognized the contributions of our teams and that we already have contributed to a new way of thinking in public transports, where zero emissions and silent buses makes a true difference in everyday life of the travelers in cities.