Volvo Buses takes lead in Electromobility; Delivers the first hybrid bus in India

  • First bus manufacturer to receive ARAI Certification; To commercially deploy the hybrid technology

Responding to the rapidly evolving market demands for clean technology in buses, Volvo Buses today took the lead by introducing Volvo Hybrid City Bus. Navi Mumbai becomes the first ever city in India to adopt hybrid buses. This was announced on the side-lines of the Make in India Week in Mumbai. The Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Stefan Löfven handed over a symbolic key of the bus to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri. Devendra Phadnavis at a ceremony organised in Mumbai today. Volvo Buses has received certification from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for the Hybrid City Bus.

Volvo Buses is the first bus manufacturer to commercially deploy the hybrid technology in India. Globally, Volvo has pioneered the electromobility programme that includes electric hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid and full electric buses for city commute applications. With over 2,400 hybrid buses sold in more than 20 countries, the operational viability of this technology has been proven with some customers placing repeat orders. Through the entire electromobility programme, over 5,000 hybrid and full electric buses have been sold till date, which includes various Volvo group bus brands.

Akash Passey, Senior Vice President – Business Region International, Volvo Buses said, “This is a significant development that the first hybrid bus being introduced in India is a Volvo. Volvo Buses has played a pioneering role in the area of bus-based public transport in many countries. From developing BRT related solutions, to cleaner technologies, Volvo has always taken the initiative with the intent to make a difference. The Volvo hybrid solution has a proven track record of saving 30 to 35 percent fuel. The technology also enables up to 50 percent reduction in hazardous emissions in actual customer operations. We are confident that this initiative will spur demand from other cities in India for Volvo’s hybrid mobility solutions.”

VRV Sriprasad, Business Head for India & South Asia – Volvo Buses said, “This is yet another high point in Volvo Buses’ India journey that spans over 14 years. I would like to thank Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation for the confidence and trust imposed on Volvo. Their initiative to take the first step to operate Volvo hybrid buses is admirable. At Volvo Buses, we are led by our brand promise – Driving Quality of Life. The introduction of the hybrid city bus is perhaps a pertinent expression of this promise. We are actively engaging with many more city authorities to promote this technology. Going forward, Volvo Buses will strengthen its Electromobility programme in India.”

The FAME (Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles) scheme of the Central Government has provided a much needed impetus for Volvo to bring the hybrid technology to the country. In 2012, at the Auto Expo, Volvo clearly articulated that it had the capability and proof that hybrid technology can be deployed commercially. The company awaited a clear direction from the Central Government to help take the required steps to bring the electro-mobility programme to the country. The latest development is a culmination of Volvo Buses’ vision for public transport in India and proactive initiatives from the Indian Government.

Introducing the New 

The Volvo 8400 Hybrid City Bus is a variant of the existing Volvo City Bus, nearly 1,500 units of which are currently operating in 34 cities across India. This new Volvo 8400 Hybrid City Bus has a parallel hybrid system, which comprises a 5-litre, 4-cylinder, in-line diesel engine and an electric motor. The vehicle is propelled purely on electric mode from the moment is starts till it gains required momentum. This phenomenon happens at every stop & start during the operation cycle, which results in significant fuel savings and reduction in emissions. The batteries get charged during operations by the re-generative brake system.

One of the biggest benefits of the hybrid technology is the reduction in noise levels – both inside and outside the bus. This has direct impact on the overall experience for passengers with lower NVH levels. The vehicle also has the Volvo I-Coaching, a one-of-its-kind on-board driver training system that ensures the best performance from the hybrid system. The telematics system with fleet and vehicle management capabilities monitors & generates fuel reports, vehicle health reports, specific battery usage and health monitoring feature.

This bus meets the Bus Body Code and the Urban Bus specification norms. It is equipped with active, passive and personal safety features. This include two fire extinguishers, hammers to break the glass, long hammers to help break the glass from outside, internal stop request and emergency stop request switches, external electric and pneumatic door operating switches, fire suppression system in the engine hatch area, etc.