Volvo’s new self-charging electric bus can now drive longer and emission-free on electricity

Volvo have announced the launch of the “Volvo B5L S-Charge”, a self-charging bus with hybrid power. The hybrid electric bus has been upgraded with new capabilities and can now drive silently and emission-free on electricity at higher speeds and cover longer distances than before.

Volvo S-Charge

The Volvo B5L S-Charge delivers an environmentally sustainable electric solution to the Australian market that is ready to be deployed immediately – without the need to wait for additional infrastructure to be built.

“The new S-Charge model is one of Volvo’s cleanest buses and will reduce the carbon footprint by up to 40% compared to equivalent diesel buses. The Volvo B5L S-Charge can also drive on biofuel, reducing CO2-emissions even more. It is probably the most fuel-efficient and reliable self-charging bus on the market”, says Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses.

While there is a strong push towards electric vehicles within the Australian market, electricity generation in itself has a substantial carbon footprint. In saying that, the measurement of “well-to-wheel” becomes an important factor to determine the true impact of s a vehicle’s carbon footprint. The term ‘well-to-wheel’ refers to the sum of emissions released from the production of energy such as extracting oil or generating electricity to the vehicle being driven. In Australia, that means applying the well-to -wheel methodology, that the Volvo B5L S-Charge produces a lower carbon footprint than many grid charged electric vehicles. This is especially true for New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

“We are now expanding our customers’ possibility for harnessing the benefits of electric power while at the same time retaining the impressive flexibility offered by hybrid buses. The new S-Charge model can be deployed on almost any route since no charging infrastructure is needed, which enables fast implementation and improved operational efficiency for our customers”, says Agnevall.

For General Manager of Volvo Bus Australia, Lauren Downs, the launch of the Volvo B5L S-Charge is the solution that many customers have been asking for. “We certainly have electric buses in our future plans for the Australian market but our priority has been, and will continue to be, providing sustainable transport solutions for all Australians. The Volvo B5L S-Charge delivers that, and most importantly, it delivers it now. There is no need to consider the build of additional charging infrastructure, which can be difficult depending on depot location, grid connection and power supply. This solution is not only sustainable, but it is tried and tested, we know it work sand we are able to deploy immediately. The Volvo B5L S-Charge provides us another tool in the “tool kit” as we progress from clean diesel and bio-fuels to self-charging and grid charged electric vehicles – all of which will play a role in the future”.

The Volvo B5L S-Charge runs in electric or hybrid mode, and can operate on up to 100% biofuel. It has been proven to run in electric mode up to 50% of the duty cycle time, and always runs emission-free at bus stops, in depots and in defined zero emission zones. The batteries are charged via both the energy that is captured through braking regeneration and the small engine. As a result, the Volvo B5L S-Charge can be used on virtually any bus route both in urban areas and in the suburbs.

Volvo 7900

The upgrade includes improved connectivity via Volvo’s connected service offering, which allows for geo-fencing and Volvo’s Zone Management function, which makes it possible for the operator to program the bus so it automatically switches to electric within selected areas and has its speed regulated without driver intervention.

It is also possible to define zones for sustained self-charging, to ensure emission-free operation in an upcoming zero-emission zone. This allows the bus to be driven silently, emission-free and energy-efficiently on electricity before arriving at the bus stop, while at a standstill for boarding and exiting, and when leaving the bus stop.

Volvo’s B5L S-Charge is already the world’s best-selling self-charging bus, and is top-ranked in uptime and reliability by major cities.

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