Volvo sees potential for electric buses in Middle East

Swedish manufacturer says it is ‘actively looking at opportunities’ for its all-electric bus, which hit the roads of Gothenburg last month

PHOTO: Volvo’s electric bus is said to consume 80% less energy than corresponding diesel buses. Credit: Supplied

Sweden’s Volvo Buses says it is “actively looking at opportunities” to bring its energy saving electric buses to the Middle East.

The manufacturer recently introduced the concept bus in Gothenberg and is gearing up for production of the all-electric vehicles in 2017.

Energy consumption of the electric bus is about 80% lower than that of corresponding diesel buses, the company said.

Volvo Buses’ concept vehicle is silent and emission-free, running on batteries that are recharged with renewable electricity at terminal stops. The electric buses on the Gothenburg route, which began operation on June 15, are equipped with on-board Wi-Fi and phone charging facilities.

“The Volvo Group aims to be the world leader in sustainable transport solutions and already offers a range of advanced models designed to minimise their environmental impact,” says Steve Hedouin, vice president of the Volvo Bus Corporation in the Middle East and Africa.

“When it comes to infrastructure development, the countries of the Middle East are among the most forward-thinking and proactive, so we are actively looking at opportunities to bring models such as this electric bus to the region in the future.”

Volvo Buses already has a range of electrified buses, such as the Volvo 7900 Hybrid – of which over 2000 units have been sold – and the Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid. The completely electric bus, however, is currently a concept vehicle, Volvo Buses said in a statement.

The bus is 10.7m long and can carry up to 86 passengers, with a centrally positioned driver’s seat contributing to a high seating capacity. 

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