Stib/Mivb orders 128 Volvo electric hybrid buses
Brussels’ public transport operator, Stib/Mivb, has ordered an additional 128 plug-in hybrid buses from Volvo for a total of 50 million euros. These new and cleaner vehicles will be added to the operator’s 110-strong fleet of Volvo hybrid buses in mid-2021.
By its bus plan implemented since 2018, Stib/Mivb, the Brussels Region’s public transport operator, has ordered 128 new Volvo 7900 electric hybrid buses. For around 50 million euros ex-VAT, these buses should help further improving the operator’s emission reduction by mid-2021. These vehicles will add to the Stib/Mivb’s fleet of 140 Iveco articulated hybrid buses, 25 full-electric buses, and 110 Volvo electric hybrid buses.
Electric-prone hybrid system
According to Volvo, the power plant of the 7900 electric hybrid reduces diesel consumption by 75% in the ideal conditions. In normal conditions, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions are 25 to 40% lower than diesel-powered buses. With its 19 kWh battery pack, the plug-in hybrid buses can drive on electricity alone at speeds under 20 km/hour. When dedicated charging gantries are installed above bus stops, the Volvo 7900 takes around six minutes to charge at 150 kW.
For the rest of the journey, Volvo’s hybrid bus uses its smaller-than-usual 4-cylinder diesel engine to propel down the road with some electric assistance. “Thanks to rapid charging and a high-capacity battery, the 7900 electric hybrid bus can drive 70% of the way on electricity alone. Energy savings can add up to 60% while fuel costs can be dropped by 75%,” explains the Swedish bus manufacturer.
In Wallonia, the TEC has been running Volvo hybrid buses in conjunction with Solaris Urbinos with mixed results. Although the 309 machines have saved the operators 2,3 million liters of fuel, the buses tend to burn 25% more fuel than budgeted. The TEC is running Volvo’s conventional hybrid bus and not the new plug-in hybrid system ordered by the Stib/Mivb.