SWEDEN The regular operation of Volvo all-electric buses in Gothenburg will expand in June when two prototypes will be tested by Transdev on part of route 16, which has frequent departures and carries a large number of passengers. The trial is being run within the framework of ElectriCity, which since 2015 has been demonstrating electrified buses on route 55 in the city.
“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 Västtrafik, public transport agency in region Västra Götaland. “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 articulated buses are 18.7m long with space for up to 135 passengers, of whom 38 seated. The buses feature four double doors, large unobstructed floor surfaces and ergonomically designed bars, grab-handles and backrests for standing passengers. The designers also focused on creating a colour-matched interior with suitable lighting. On board there is free WiFi, charging points for mobile phones, and enhanced traffic information.
A lot of attention has been given to developing onboard information with new types of screens both inside and outside being tested. Moreover, the bus stops at Eriksbergstorget and Lindholmen will have added weather protection. At two bus stops, Eriksbergstorget and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, there will be charging stations. These stations are based on the common OppCharge system interface, so they can also be used by electric buses from other manufacturers.
“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,” said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses. “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.
“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.”