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Volvo to deliver plug-in hybrid buses w/ fast overhead recharging to Hamburger Hochbahn as part of development partnership

As part of a new development partnership, Volvo Buses will deliver three Volvo Electric plug-in hybrids to Hamburger Hochbahn AG. The electric hybrids will enter into traffic in Hamburg towards the end of the year.

Hamburger Hochbahn AG has been a successful and important partner of science and manufacturers in the field of innovative drive technologies. The company has now entered into a development partnership with Volvo Bus Corporation for electric hybrid buses, and will operate three vehicles on regular service routes in the hanseatic city from the end of the year.

The goal is clear: from 2020 we will only order buses with pollutant-free drives. That is ambitious and we have therefore decided to participate even more intensively in the development of innovative drives. In entering into this development partnership we will now move from being an observer to being the driving force in the field of battery bus technology as well.

—Hochbahn chairman Günter Elste

The new buses are diesel-electric hybrid buses that can travel up to 10 km using only electricity. The plug-in technology enables fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to be reduced by up to 75% and total energy consumption to be reduced by 60%.

Charging stations at the respective termini of the routes provide for the necessary recharging. The required infrastructure at the termini will be developed and realized by Siemens, technical partner in the project.

This charging technology is ideally suited because the moveable contact arm is mounted on a mast and lowers down to the contact bars on the roof of the bus. Due to its charging capacity of up to 300 kW, this technology is able to cover the energy demand even in case of the highly demanding operating conditions of electric and hybrid electric buses.

—Andreas Laske, Head of Electric Buses at Siemens

The three new electric hybrid buses will be used on the new Hochbahn innovation route.

Volvo Buses has previously signed agreements regarding the implementation of electric hybrid buses or full electric buses with the cities of Gothenburg, Luxembourg, Montreal and Stockholm. In Gothenburg, Volvo has been working with Opbrid’s Bůsbaar pantograph for ultra-fast recharging. (Earlier post.)



With enough batteries and ultra quick charge points (300+KW) PHEV type city buses could run 90+% of the time on electricity an reduce GHG by similar percentage where clean (Hydro-Wind-Solar-Nuke) electricity is used.

Recent trials of BYD electric buses in Montreal city concluded that e-city buses could very well become an important option for future very clean public inner city transportation.


In Copenhagen two BYD buses have been tested since January. Maximum range on one charge was 325 km, while expected range was 250 km. Those that want to check the power mix in Denmark (real time, including g CO2/kWh) may check out http://www.energinet.dk

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