Race signals start for electric articulated buses

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

SWEDEN When Gothenburg welcomed the Volvo Ocean Race on June 14–21, the city also welcomed two all-electric articulated Volvo buses which carried visitors between downtown Nordstan and the event venue in Frihamnen.

The two all-electric articulated Volvo buses will operate on route ELO16, which is part of route 16 in Gothenburg. VOLVO

From June 25 the two concept buses, which can carry 135 passengers, will be tested on the EL16, part of public transport provider Vasttrafik’s route 16. In the mornings and evenings they will run between Eriksbergstorget and Nordstan. During the day they will also operate between Eriksbergstorget and Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Two new stops will be built on the route, and two existing bus stops at Eriksbergstorget and Lindholmen will get new bus shelters. Since the electric articulated buses are prototypes, they will run outside the regular timetable.

“With these two first all-electric articulated buses, we are taking yet another important step towards quieter and emission-free public transport in Gothenburg and western Sweden,” said Ulrika Frick, (Green Party), Chair of the Vastra Gotaland Regional Council’s public transport committee. “We hope as many locals and visitors as possible will take the opportunity to experience the next generation of bus travel.”

In addition to electric propulsion, the two articulated buses feature a number of technical and design solutions that make travel easier and more comfortable for passengers. For instance, the buses have four double doors, large unobstructed floor surfaces and ergonomically designed handrails, grab-handles and backrests for standing passengers. The aim is that a large number of passengers should be able to quickly and conveniently enter and exit at every stop, while making the journey itself as comfortable as possible. There is also WiFi, sockets for charging mobile phones, and screens showing traffic information.

The electric articulated buses are part of the ElectriCity project which since 2015 has seen about 10 electric buses operate on route 55 in Gothenburg. ElectriCity is a joint project between the research community, industry and the city of Gothenburg, where new solutions for next-generation sustainable urban traffic are being developed, demonstrated and evaluated. ElectriCity brings together the project’s partners – the Volvo Group, Region Västra Gotaland, Vasttrafik, the City of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, the Swedish Energy Agency, Johanneberg Science Park, Lindholmen Science Park, Goteborg Energi, Ericsson, Alvstranden Utveckling, Keolis, Akademiska Hus and Chalmersfastigheter.

The articulated bus project is being run by Volvo, Vasttrafik, the City of Gothenburg, Goteborg Energi and Transdev.