Electric vehicles eliminate smog and climate pollution, but they offer another huge benefit that is often missed – so Volvo highlighted this in the Swedish city of Gothenburg with a series of Silent Bus Sessions.
New electric buses hosted a series of acoustic concerts by popular Swedish musicians to demonstrate how quietly they can glide through noisy cities. As part of the ElectriCity project, Volvo is working with universities, urban planners and transport agencies to test and evaluate innovative and sustainable public transportation – they are even considering how cities could be redesigned to accommodate such vehicles.
‘We wanted to communicate around one of the main advantages of electric buses – their silence,’ says Volvo’s Helena Lind. ‘Silent buses allow for cities to be planned in new ways, where the buses can come closer to where people live and move. That’s why we’re convinced that electric public transport in cities is the way forward’.
Electric buses currently in testing run on wind and hydro power, generating additional charge when braking – and at the end of each bus route, it takes just six minutes to recharge the buses.
‘Silent, emission free buses open up entirely new opportunity in urban planning,’ Lind says. ‘You can have, for example, indoor bus stops, which is a major benefit in cold climates. Overall, the bus systems can be much more integrated in the city infrastructure’.
Volvo already has roughly 2,000 hybrid-electric buses in use around the world, but production of new, fully electric buses will start in 2017.