Yesterday, I took the bus to go shopping. Not, just any bus but the 7700 Hybrid, going from one end of the line 30 to the other. The passengers surely noticed the difference. Some changed from another bus to the hybrid just for the fun of riding with the first 7700 hybrid in traffic.
I talked to Omer, the driver. He is one of the selected 12 drivers that have been driving the bus for two weeks now. He is very happy with it, he say. The silent driving is the best feature. He is also quite impressed by the take-off and smooth behaviour of the drive train. And, his bad back in particular appreciate the air suspended driver seat. He has not yet heard about the fuel consumption data.
I logged the rout with my GPS. With an average speed of 20 km/h and some 30% idle time I estimated the cycle to be similar to the Braunschweig cycle or SORT 2. I said to Omer that with strong reservations for the short sampling time we could expect a fuel consumption decrease by about 30% giving about 30 litre per 100 km.
The first two stops we were just three passengers. The closer we got to the end the more passengers entered the bus, ending up with a patronage of 30 persons.
At the end stop Omer told about his 6 year old daughter that now tell her friends that her daddy now drives the “battery bus”. Omer also revealed that his engagement in the bus also affected him privately and that his next car will not be a natural gas car and not an ethanol car but a hybrid car, because it is of highest priority to decrease the use of energy.
I was speechless.
Foto: Tommy Holl
Last weekend I visited Göteborgsvarvet , a half marathon running contest. This was the first year for some time that I could not make it to the start my self. This year there were 41 000 participants, a new record. Together with spectators and families some 200 000 people were moving in the area.
Such an event puts high demands on the transports. Gothenburg I normally not highly congested compared to many European cities. But, this day it was completely crowded. The area of the start and finish arena was more or less blocked by cars. The trams were out of schedule because of the race crossing the city centre. The buses were de-routed.
The traffic situation reminded me of a table that I got from my colleague, Peter Danielsson, some time ago.When the street space is the limiting factor its important to use vehicles with high capacity.The table depicts what it takes to transport 10.000 persons one km.
Passengers Vehicles Space Fuel
(numbers) (numbers) (m2) (liters)
Car 5 2000 24000 200
Bus 100 100 3400 50
BRT bus 175 57 2850 35
The 28th of April the first 7700 hybrid was handed over to the local operator, Göteborgs Spårvägar, for in-use field testing. The testing is a part of the industrialisation step of the development. Historically, small series of profiling products have been supplied to demanding customers. The buses have had prototype status and were not intended for full scale production. This project is different. The field test buses are already produced in a fully industrialised manufacturing process. Both for the field test in Gothenburg and for London.
The bus key was handed over by Håkan Karlsson (Volvo Bus CEO) to Lena Malm (Göteborgs Spårvägar), supervised by Anneli Hultén,(Chairman of the local parliament) to the right.
Anneli Hultén spoke for the local public transport authority, Västtrafik, about the importance of clean public transports and the need for continuous progress. Göteborgs Spårvägar operates most of the buses in the city of Gothenburg. They have been pioneering gas buses. Now, they will lead the operation of the field test of the most energy efficient bus I have ever seen.
I was given the task to give a guided tour where both the hybrid performance and local sighseeing was covered (the latter learned by mum in my early days).
It was great fun to guide the visitors in the first test ride with local drivers. As time goes increasingly remarkable data is released by the project. We have promised at least 20% fuel consumption improvement in typical Gothenburg operation. In parallell we promissed a reduction of at least 50% of emissions of NOx and particulates. We will keep our promise.