Erland Morelissen, Volvo and one of the Sales-Lentz owners, Marc Sales, in front of the Volvo 7700 Hybrid.
Maurice Brown, our city bus product manager, and I came in late on Wednesday. It was already dark and the quest for food in a small eastern province of Belgium was far from easy by this hour. The Pinocchio Pizza however, turned out to our satisfaction.
I was most disappointed to cancel the jogging in the morning due to heavy rain, mist and complete darkness in the vicinity of the remote forest Hotell. The rumour of the local wild bores made the decision easy.
Only two days after the European Environmental ministers meeting in Luxemburg the private operator Sales-Lentz arranged an environmental symposium. The Environment and Transport Minister of Luxemburg, Mr Lucien Lux, participated in the symposium.
Jos Sales, one of the brothers owning the operation gave an introduction to the symposium. The times are changing, when a private operator precedes the authorities.
The large bus manufacturers gave presentations. Maurice and I started out as the Volvo representatives. The focus was of course on our hybrid bus and the environmental benefits. I prepared a couple of new slides where the benefit of our parallel designed is explained in comparison to the serial hybrids. In brief the parallel beats the standard bus in all kinds of traffic while the serial hybrid only offers an advantage in very dense city traffic. In addition the I-SAM parallel hybrid is designed for simplicity, reliability and cost efficiency. The integration of the energy management on the vehicle level offers additional fuel consumption improvement.
As a manifestation of the environmental lead, at the finish of the symposium the Sales brothers signed the contract on the first six 7700 Hybrid buses of the new I-SAM parallel hybrid generation.
Thursday the 9th of October I participated in a series of environmental seminars in Alicante at the Volvo Ocean Race venue.
The future European demands were in focus. We are facing a series of new legislations concerning emission performance (Euro VI), use of bio fuels and environmental cost for public transports. Right now negotiations take place between the European parliament and the European Commission. It is clear that the emission performance will be very strictly regulated with Euro VI. The limits for NOx and particulates might get as low as 0.4 and 0.01 g/kWh respectively. Increasing amounts of biofuels will be used and further emphasis will be put on decreased use of energy and decreased emissions of carbon dioxide.
The proposals are scheduled for 2010-2014. Which ever the decisions will be it is important for us to have sufficient lead time for meeting the new requirements. The customers are worried about the implications for cost, durability, maintenance and up-time. The competitiveness of the European industry and trade is influenced by the cost efficiency of the transports. For Volvo Buses the new hybrid will:
- provide low emissions, extremely low fuel consumption and low noise and this at various traffic conditions
- the operational excellence is safe guarded by competitive pricing, high reliability by parallel design and sharing of service net, components and parts with Volvo Trucks and Volvo Construction Equipment.
After lunch I used the siesta for some jogging along the coastline by the Altea village. The weather was windy and the rain was persistent, I still felt that the jogging was quite refreshing.
At 5 pm we got to the Volvo Ocean Race harbour area. By then the rain was pouring down. The Telefonica Blue won the first harbour race and was thus in lead during our visit. Saturday the 11th of October the first long leg started:
By now the stand might have changed: