By the end of December 145 Volvo Electric Articulated buses will be operating in Gothenburg, Sweden. Where the target is for all city buses in the region to be electric by 2030. Details and infos on how the deployment has been prepared are provided in a story published on Volvo Buses website.

The buses, which will operate on a total of 34 routes in and around Gothenburg, will be charged via cable in the depot overnight and at charging stations on route.

Sweden’s second largest city, where Volvo headquarter are located, was early when it came to electrifying its city buses. In 2015, Gothenburg became a testing ground for Volvo Buses’ first all-electric vehicles as part of ElectriCity project, on a dedicated line.

electric buses gothenburg

Volvo electric buses in Gothenburg, 210 units running

With 145 new Volvo 7900 Electric Articulated buses, whose purchase was announced in early November 2019 (at that time it was the largest single electric bus order in the continent), the region will have approximately 210 electric buses by the turn of the year (around 35 per cent of the city bus fleet), making it the largest fleet of electric buses in the Nordics. The investment is an important step in achieving the region’s climate goal: decreasing carbon dioxide emissions from public transport by 90 percent by 2035.

The 145 buses in Gothenburg will cut CO2 emissions by 14,500 tonnes and nitrogen oxides emissions by approximately 8,000 kg per year. Each bus’s noise level is reduced by 7dB, halving its noise emissions, according to the figures provided by Volvo Buses.

Transdev to operate electric buses in Gothenburg

The fleet is operated by Transdev, following the awarding of the tender in summer 2019 by PTA Västtrafik. Transdev has overall responsibility for everything being in place before operations commence. This includes choosing the right technology, training employees, finding and adapting bus depots, and ensuring the availability of charging infrastructure and the right electricity capacity. Transdev has extensive experience with large-scale projects and has several electric bus fleets in Sweden, the Netherlands and France: the transport company will be running 1,200 e-buses by the end of this year.

electric buses gothenburg

ABB is the charging partner

The buses, which will operate on a total of 34 routes in and around Gothenburg, will be charged via cable in the depot overnight and at charging stations on route.

In order to decide on an optimal charging infrastructure, Transdev has made careful calculations and analyses of all routes in close collaboration with Volvo Buses and the suppliers of the charging technology, which is ABB.

ABB is the supplier of the 19 charging stations that have been installed at 13 locations, Volvo Buses highlights. It is a complete solution that includes both 450 kW chargers and all the necessary equipment for the mains connection. The charging stations are ABB Ability™-connected, which makes it possible to remotely monitor them and configure charging points, and proactively maintain the equipment.

Electricity is provided by municipality’s supplier Göteborg Energi, which, in addition to strengthening the capacity of the electricity grid, has installed new cables underground and built transformer stations. In parallel, the City of Gothenburg has provided land for depots and rebuilt end stops to free up space for charging stations.

Marie Carlsson, Volvo Buses: we want to be a partner

Marie Carlsson, Director of City Mobility Business Development, Volvo Buses, says: “The investment in Gothenburg is fantastic and it will make a big difference for the residents of the city. We are very pleased to be able to participate and contribute with our expertise. Our long experience of delivering electrified buses to cities around the world has given us both broad and deep knowledge that we are happy to share”. She adds: “We will be able to learn more about how electric buses work in real life – what passengers, drivers, and the operator think. We want to be a partner who, together with the customer, secures the future of solutions and ensures that public transport is constantly improved, both from a sustainability and a safety perspective”.

electric buses gothenburg

Electric buses in Gothenburg and creative solutions

“Electrification requires new thinking, a lot of commitment, and a common vision. Knowing that passengers, drivers, and the city have been satisfied with the electric buses has given those involved the courage to dare to invest. To succeed, we cannot wait. We have reviewed all transport agreements and have ensured that each new procurement is in line with our environmental and climate plan. It is a tough target and transport companies must act on it and find creative solutions” says Hanna Björk, Sustainability Manager at Västtrafik, who is responsible for the region’s public transport.

“What made us choose Volvo Buses is that they presented a robust, complete system together with ABB, where they take responsibility for both the function and the interface between the chargers and the buses. We have a long working relationship with Volvo Buses, and since 2018, we have been running two electric articulated buses from Volvo on line 16 in Gothenburg. They are a responsive partner who have adapted to us and our needs,” says Johnny Struwe, Fleet Manager at Transdev Sweden.

ABB project manager Frida Jalkenäs comments: “On such a large project, it is important to look at its entirety, have an understanding of each other’s challenges and to be flexible. We are very happy with the good cooperation with our partners to together create more sustainable public transport for the region,” she says.


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