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Volvo Buses unveiling Volvo 7900 Electric bus at Busworld in October

When Volvo Buses participates in the Busworld exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium in October, the company will unveil the Volvo 7900 Electric—Volvo’s first series-produced electric bus under its own brand.

The electric model is around 80% more energy-efficient than a conventional diesel bus. The bus’s batteries are charged through the energy generated during engine braking, as well as at bus stops via the power grid. A battery charge via the power grid takes maximum 6 minutes, corresponding to around 10 km of driving. The Volvo 7900 is available in a 12 m design.

The launch means Volvo Buses now boasts a comprehensive range of electrified buses. The Volvo 7900 Electric joins stablemates the Volvo 7900 Hybrid (also available as an articulated bus) and the Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid. In total, Volvo has sold in excess of 2,200 electrified buses since the introduction of its hybrid models in 2010.

Volvo Buses will also showcase Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS), which is currently being integrated into several of Volvo’s coach models. The system enables substantially better directional stability, comfort and safety and reduces the risk of drivers incurring occupational injuries. VDS has been a feature of Volvo’s trucks since 2013.

VDS automatically compensates for uneven road surfaces, eliminating vibration and steering kicks. When driving at low speeds, steering wheel inertia is reduced by around 75%, which also makes reversing easier. The system also facilitates steering, with the wheel automatically returning to centre when the driver’s grip is loosened somewhat. At high speeds, the bus maintains consistent direction, even on poor road surfaces.


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God to see that the first truly large bus maker is making an BEV bus. However, BYDs approach with a large 300kwh battery for all day drive and nightly chare appeals more to me. Why charge during day time when electricity prices are high?


What about the cost for the big batteries? I am quite positive about that Volvo offers the most advantageous solution to their customers regarding TCO, i.e. the battery size chosen. If you ask Volvo this is probably the answer you would get.

In addition, the extra weight of large batteries might reduce the capacity of the bus (No. of passengers).

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Peter I might be wrong but I tend to favour simplicity over complexity. Volvo's solution means they need an infrastructure at each bus stoop that need to be maintained and might be broken so busses can't drive. The large battery is more simple and robust. However, it cost a lot to fit a bus with a 300kwh battery probably 60,000 USD if you can order 50 k per year from Tesla in 2020. If you order less the cost will be higher. I guess you could save 5 cents per kwh by charging at night and you may spend 250kwh per day times a lifetime of 2000 days so only 25,000 USD savings in electricity. The Volvo will also need a battery say a 60kwh battery and it will cost more than the 200 USD per kwh because it needs to be more durable probably a lithium titanium type with 10,000 deep cycles so 400 USD per kwh or 24,000 USD for the Volvo battery. Now you add the infrastructure cost of the Volvo bus and its operational inflexibility and you understand my opinion.


BYD's e-buses with double size battery pack are still cheaper to buy than Volvo's with half size batteries.

Secondly, BYD has purchase orders for 1000's and has built and operated 100's while Volvo is still in the testing stage.

Proterra (and a few others) may be closer competitors.

Thirdly, BYD is a major-active and progressive battery maker capable of developing improved future batteries for updated e-buses, e-taxis and other BYD e-vehicles.


Guys, I have not done any serious calculations on this. However, I am sure that Volvo has done just that and made a decision to offer the most advantageous option to their customers. They always do! This is not passenger cars, when you can lure the customer to buy a more expensive option by some dubious marketing. Of course, you can make everything cheaper in China than in Sweden. This does not imply that everything made in China is always better. In a choice between BYD and Volvo, I would personally choose the latter.


There's nothing in this article about price, so how do you know that Harvey?

Given the cost and materials burden of building battery packs, more smaller batteries can electrify more miles than fewer bigger batteries.  This bus goes well with the Busbaar overhead charging system.  It wouldn't even burden the grid much; a charge at 150 kW is a bit over 20 amps at 7200 volts, not a very big load even for a small feeder wire.

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