The testing of two prototype all-electric articulated buses is to be carried out on the roads of Gothenburg, Sweden, by joint venture ElectriCity, a partnership between the research community, industry and society, aimed at developing new solutions for next-generation sustainable urban traffic.
The trial, due to begin in June, will be carried out on part of Route 16, which has high ridership and a large number of departures. ElectriCity has been running electrified buses in demo traffic on Route 55 in Gothenburg since 2015.
“By expanding the demonstration arena and testing high-capacity electric articulated buses on a route that carries many passengers, we can give more people in Gothenburg an attractive alternative to taking their own cars,” said Lars Holmin, chairman of public transport company Västtrafik.
“The new all-electric buses are far quieter than diesel buses, they emit absolutely no exhaust gases, and they are designed for smooth and comfortable travel. They will also form an important basis for decisions about future investments in electric buses.”
The two new buses are 18.7m long and can accommodate 135 passengers (38 seated). They feature four double doors, large unobstructed floor surfaces and ergonomically designed bars, grab handles and backrests for standing passengers.
They have been designed to enable passengers to enter and exit the bus quickly, and have free wi-fi, charging points for cell phones, and enhanced traffic information displays featuring new types of screens located both inside and outside the bus.
“Route 16 is one of the lines that transports most passengers in Gothenburg, giving us the opportunity to truly put the technology to the test. For instance, the batteries are dimensioned so the buses can run without needing a recharging break during peak hours. Instead, recharging will take place when there is less traffic, either at one of the two charging stations now being built on the route or when the buses return to the depot,” said Håkan Agnevall, president, Volvo Buses.
“Electric buses are quiet and emission-free, and create new opportunities for urban planning. It feels particularly good to be able to help reduce the noise level at Sahlgrenska Hospital.”