I have previously written about the I-Shift gear box and the benefits for fuel consumption and emissions. It is thus a pleasure to announce that we now offer the 9700 coach on the US market.
Read more about the Volvo 9700 here.
In Europe we lowered the fuel consumption by some 13% when the 2007 model (Euro IV with I-shift) was compared to the 2006 (Euro III with automatic gear box). It will be very exciting to learn about the performance of the US certified 13 litre engine.
The 8 air springs and the weight distribution give superior handling and comfort and the Volvo engine brake offers unique safety performance by high break power.
Just one day after the European parliament decided on the new Euro VI regulation for HD vehicles, the decided on the Climate and Energy package. Read more here.
The package collect several blocks of actions, covering carbon emission trading, carbon sequestration, Effort sharing, Fuel quality, CO2 for cars and renewable energy.
For the buses and coaches the 10% bio fuel target for 2020 and the fuel quality targets will have an impact of future propulsion technologies.
The decision sends a message to the rest of the world; EU is prepared to take actions to limit the impact of fossil fuels.
For most member states the implementation is a step to decrease the import dependence of coal, oil and natural gas that finds its use both for power generation, heating and vehicle fuels.
The summary target for all sectors is to achieve a share of sustainable energy by 20% and to increase the energy efficiency by 20%.
I say, buses and coaches constitute the most energy efficient mean of person transports and will thus become a winner in the development the years to come.
I spent the New Year, in Dubai, with my brother-in-law and our families. Coming in at 2am, it was stunning to see the empty 7-lane highway. Next morning however we learned why 7 lanes were required. The dense traffic soured gently through the city. The two main high ways stretch parallel with the sea side, one close to the sea and one some 10 miles in-to the desert. Each one with 7 lanes. When departing from the transportation arteries of the city, the traffic jams completely.
Dubai now learn the same lesson as most major cities in the world. The traffic development goes through three phases:
1, The capacity of roads and streets are increased to cope with the traffic increase. Next, the streets are saturate.
2, Parking spaces are built to take load of the streets and more roads are built. Next the streets fill up all space and moving vehicles fill up the streets. At this stage mostly the air quality is increasing in priority.
3, Some transports are not allowed at rush hours. Congestion charges, road tolls and other Buses, park and ride and other systems with high transport efficiency are introduced to feature people coming from their homes to the central shopping district.
The public transport is now under rapid development. You can find the modern bus stops next to all major streets. Air conditioners and clean design makes the waiting pleasant. The remote scenery includes the famous Burj Al Arab.
The wide open landscape is attractive for dune bashing, by car. Even if four wheel drive helps a lot, the pace is similar to the average speed of city centre driving. Although, it seems to be a part of the joy.
Traditionally, person transports have been featured by walking and camel back riding in the emirates. The camels still float freely between the dunes.
The future EU regulation for emissions from HD vehicles has now been adopted by the European Parliament: Read more in a press release here
The new regulation will sharpen the emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates substantially further. In addition a set of paragraphs will put further demand on emissions outside the test cycles, ageing and in use performance. According to the agreement, all new vehicles will have to comply with the new regulation from 1st of January 2014.
In addition the proposal introduces:
-provisions on off cycle emissions
-further on-board diagnostic
-access to repair information
-durability of pollution control devices
-replacement pollution control devices
-conformity of in-service engines and vehicles
-carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption measurement
and the proposal foresees the introduction of a particle number limit value
So far I have personally been positive to sharpening and harmonising emission performance of vehicles. Human health should not be compromised. Now, with US10 and Euro VI, however the vehicle sector is getting very very far ahead of most other sectors, I say. The cost for removing last gram of NOx is only remotely justified by the health improvement. And, in parallel the world struggles with the abatement of green house gases. Those are conflicting targets. In the end money is needed to provide the technical solutions. In order not to affect the competitiveness of some regions more than others a broad support for similar legislation should be secured from all over the world.
I would like to challenge the political leadership to provide the holistic justification for the new sharp emission directives for the vehicle sector.
When calculating the total environmental load sector by sector: Are the measures in US10 and Euro VI prioritised correctly, cost efficient, phased in at the right time?
Or, are there other sectors that need to increase the pace more?
One thing is for sure right:
Buses gives the lowest environmental load per travelled kilometre (with exception for biking and walking)!