Today, I visited the Norwegian village, Stjördal some 30 km from Trondheim. Even if I did not catch the sight of the fjords, the completely clear sky with the surrounding mountains offered an impressive venue for an environmental seminar.
As it turned out the flight buss offered a panorama as well. The local operator Klaebu Ruten operates Volvo 9700 at Trondheim Airport.
The seminar covered political trends, alternative fuels, hybrid development and recent Bus Rapid Transit development.
The Volvo parallel hybrid caught most of the attention. But, we also had a vivid discussion concerning bio diesel, bio gas or other alternative fuels.
If so, how can the PTAs secure that the bio fuel is not compromising price of food or ethical values such as working conditions. I have no good answers to deliver, as evident from other recent blog contributions. For the moment safe choices are fuels that make use of wastes, such as sewage, for fuel production, e.g. Biogas.
At the succeeding lunch the central subject became safety. I learned that the Nordic climate with icy roads in combination with occasional strong winds put special demands on weight balance of the buses. In fact it is not very rare that the buses slide off the road. For such conditions the 8500 and 8700 with the mid mounted engine together with other offers based on the B12M chassis presents a particularly well balanced offer. Both politicians and operators seemed to agree that the mid mounted Volvo buses are more or less the only buses available for the demanding traffic of northern Scandinavia.