With the increasing drive towards electrification, we take a look at the large-scale electrification of the city network in Volvo’s home city of Gothenburg and the measured positive impact it has had on residents
With more and more cities around Europe investing in fossil-free and sustainable public transport, the Swedish city of Gothenburg invested in a fleet of 145 Volvo electric articulated buses, which were delivered in December 2020 as part of its move to large-scale electric transport. The ultimate goal is for all city buses in the region to be electric by 2030. The move compares with plans put forward by major UK operators such as FirstGroup, which has plans for a fully zero-emission fleet by 2035, but against the background of a very different operational framework.
At their launch, the 145 buses in Gothenburg were expected to cut CO2 emissions by 14,500 tonnes and nitrogen oxides emissions by approximately 8,000 kg per year, and compared to diesel vehicles each bus’ noise level is reduced by 7dB, approximately halving noise emissions.
Sweden’s second largest city started testing plug-in hybrids in 2011, and in 2015 became a testing ground for Volvo Buses’ first all-electric vehicles as part of the collaborative ElectriCity project that Volvo said generated a lot of interest. Those experiences have been of great importance in determining Gothenburg’s future plans. “Electrification requires new thinking, a lot of commitment, and a common vision. Knowing that passengers, drivers, and the city have been satisfied with the electric buses has given those involved the courage to dare to invest,” explained Hanna Björk, Sustainability Manager at the region’s transport operator Västtrafik, at the launch of the buses.
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