Volvo’s Electric Buses Cruising UK Streets On Demonstration Tour

Volvo, in collaboration with Manchester’s transport authority, is now conducting a public trial and demonstration tour of its Volvo 7900e “Metroshuttle” on Manchester’s streets.

The demonstration tour started in mid-September, serving the city of Manchester as a free transport service for eight weeks. From Manchester, the Metroshuttle is expected to head to London’s Heathrow Airport for an additional eight weeks to transport passengers and staff to and from designated areas, such as garages and terminals.

“Congestion is a crippling problem facing so many roads in Greater Manchester,” said Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester. “It affects people’s quality of life, it costs our businesses and it creates poor air quality that contributes to illness and premature death. This can’t carry on.”

Volvo’s e-bus on the street in the UK.

On a larger scale, the United Kingdom has also rolled out a set of initiatives to assess its readiness in accommodating electric vehicles. In mid-September, the United Kingdom’s Business, Energy and Industry Strategy Committee launched an investigation assessing key challenges in bringing electric vehicles to its cities. The initiative also intends to evaluate and suggest improvements to existing energy infrastructure to better support demand.

The U.K. government is expected to unveil its Clean Growth energy strategy on Oct. 12, which will outline a series of 50-plus measures to develop regulatory frameworks and rules that will contribute towards lower emissions.

The Volvo 7900e is an all-electric bus available as a single deck or double deck. Rounding out its features are a five-liter diesel engine and an electric motor contributing to 80 percent lower emissions than traditional diesel buses. Charging time is between three to six minutes using Oppcharger, a charging technology provider which uses overhead charging stations and lightweight roof mounted connector rails to feed electricity, similar to how a tram works.

Look for the first fleet of 7900es to hit the U.K. in early 2018 before expanding to other markets such as Norway and Sweden.


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