Volvo recently announced an order of 373 city buses for Dubai with the first deliveries in Q3, 2019. The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport has now ordered 168 premium intercity Volvo coaches from its operators. With the latest order, the Volvo fleet in the United Arab Emirates will amount to almost 800 vehicles, operating in all three segments in the UAE – City, Intercity and Premium Coach.
The chassis are Volvo B11R Euro VI, and the first Euro VI buses ever to be purchased by Abu Dhabi Department of Transport. The buses will be bodied with the Castrosua Magnus E. Deliveries are planned for Q4 2019 to Q4 2020.
Besides the vehicles, the contract with the operators includes a comprehensive maintenance contract. The tender was awarded to the operator presenting a combination of superior vehicle specifications combined with low operating cost. The unique value proposition offered by Volvo helped the operator remain competitive and make a winning bid.
“With this latest order the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport continues to put strong confidence both in Volvo products and in our team. We are very proud and honored to deliver our B11R Euro VI, a transport solution that excels in drivability, comfort and safety”, said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.
The Volvo B11R is designed to meet high demands on driving properties, comfort and safety. The standard equipment includes features such as Volvo’s electronically controlled disc brakes and ESP (Electronic Stability Program).
Passengers will experience premium interiors including ergonomic seats, USB charging in seats and heat repellent windows. The buses will come equipped with a high level of Intelligent Transport systems (ITS) for fleet tracking, and driver support.
Volvo Buses, Göteborg Energi, Riksbyggen and Johanneberg Science Park are working together to examine electricity storage in apartment blocks that have their own electricity production via solar panels.
The reuse and recycling of batteries is a key issue as increasing numbers of cities plan transition to electrically powered transport. Volvo Buses is taking part in a research project whereby used electric bus batteries get a second lease of life as solar energy storage units.
The research is taking place in Riksbyggen’s Viva housing cooperative in Gothenburg, an apartment complex that aims to be Sweden’s most innovative and sustainable housing project – Positive Footprint Housing. Tenants are just starting to move into their new apartments.
In Viva housing cooperative, Riksbyggen, Volvo, Göteborg Energi and Johanneberg Science Park have created a unique system whereby energy from solar panels on the roofs of the apartment buildings is stored in batteries that previously powered electric buses on route 55.
The energy warehouse is used to cut the property’s power consumption peaks, and to store or sell surplus solar energy. It can also be used to buy and store electricity from the national grid when it is cheap and green, for later use. This improves the efficiency of housing association Viva’s own energy system as well as that of the city’s power grid.
“We know that electric bus batteries have good potential for other applications such as energy storage after the end of their life in public transport. What we are examining here is exactly how good that potential is. Use of the batteries in an energy warehouse gives them an extended service life which in turn means better resource utilisation and less environmental impact. Here at Volvo we are examining various possibilities for the reuse of bus batteries for energy storage, and Viva is one such example,” says Ylva Olofsson, Project Coordinator at Volvo.
The battery warehouse consists of 14 used lithium-ion electric bus batteries. They are installed in a battery chamber and linked together to create a 200 kWh storage pack. This energy warehouse allows a larger proportion of Viva’s solar-generated electricity to be used for the housing association’s power needs.
The research of energy storage in used bus batteries is done with support from the EU project IRIS Smart Cities. IRIS is a Light House project, financed by EU HORIZON 2020.