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Volvo sells 11 electric hybrid buses with 2 ABB automated fast-chargers to Namur, Belgium

Volvo has received an order for 11 electric hybrid buses and 2 ABB automated electric bus fast-chargers to the city of Namur in Belgium with public transport authority and operator TEC. This is the largest order to date for the company’s electric bus system.

TEC is buying the bus system as a turn-key solution. Volvo takes full responsibility for vehicle servicing, battery maintenance as well as maintenance of the standard-based charging stations for a fixed monthly cost. Start in-service is planned towards the end of 2016. Every year the TEC Group transports more than 250 million passengers.

Volvo’s 7900 Electric Hybrid (earlier post) features an all-electric range of approximately seven kilometers (4.35 miles). The batteries are fast-charged in just a few minutes at the end stops and also by the energy generated whenever the vehicle brakes. The buses also have a 4-cylinder, 5-liter Volvo D5F diesel engine, which increases reach and flexibility.

Total energy consumption is 60% percent lower—estimated on a city bus route of 10 km, compared to a Euro 6 diesel bus; CO2 emissions are 75–90% lower, depending on the fuel used.


ABB bus chargers. The automated fast chargers play an important role in opportunity charging, where instead of returning the bus to a depot to connect to an individual charger, the bus is recharged in minutes each time it arrives at an end station. This allows the bus to have a smaller, lighter battery pack which increases passenger capacity. Because they are not returned to the depot for charging, the buses are able to run more routes, improving service for commuters. These benefits reduce the total cost of ownership for the city.

ABB’s fast charger modular design, with powers of 150 kW, 300 kW or 450 kW, accommodates any electric bus system. The fast-charging solutions are based on IEC 61851-23, the international standard for fast charging electric vehicles. This ensures the appropriate safety systems are in place, the electrical design is in accordance with regulations, and the systems architecture and working principles are supported by a wider automotive community in the future.

In addition to the two fast chargers, ABB’s solution includes transformers, switchgear and service.



These electric hybrid (PHEVs) city buses are a practical solution but have serious e-range limitations on cold winter days during rush hours. They will either operate on the on-board diesel or require more 450 KW quick charge stations. How long would the batteries last?

BYD e-buses with 300+ kWh battery pack may be a better solution and would run cleaner, where electricity is from clean hydro/wind/solar/nuke sources. Larger battery packs can be charger overnight at lower rate of charge.

Volvo-Canada has produced a few test units with large batteries to replace diesel units in Montreal and other cities in Quebec Province.

Proterra, Flyer, Man, Mercedes and other manufacturers from China, Japan, So. Korea and Brazil will soon compete with extended range e-buses.


More than 16% of city buses are hybrid, another 16+% are CNG/LNG.

“APTA statistics for 2014 show that 16.9% of public transit buses were hybrid-electric. Coming in a close second, public transit systems report that 16.7% of U.S. transit buses used compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and blends.”


Autobus Lion (Lion e-Bus), from Saint-Jérôme, 45 Km north of Montreal is currently producing electric school buses @ CAN$150,000 each at the rate of 2 units/week.

Those school buses have light fiber bodies and can go up to 150 Km per full charge. Most school commissions run those e-bus for about 75 Km/day and recharge overnight only, with standard level 2/220 VAC chargers during 4.5 hours.

Subsidies are available (CAN $30M) to cover e-bus purchase cost (till 2020) but operators will have to do without the current CAN $15,000/year fuel subsidy per year per diesel bus. The NET subsidy is $ zero, after 10 years and even less when the carbon fees are duly considered.

The fleet is growing fast and two of those e-buses are or test in California.


An electrical light wt bus with long range of about 300 kms will be ideal solution for country like India where lacs of such buses will find market.


Towards New Horizons
The physicist Richard Feynman was the first to conceive the idea of a computer that would process information based on quantum effects.
The quantum theory has been one of the most successful – but also a most controversial debated physical theory. It explains the structure of matter and atoms, details chemical reactions and radioactivity. The superposition of several states that a quantum system can simultaneously attain is employed in a quantum computer.
One of the most promising and relatively new innovation is the Prieto battery. Its' solid state electrolyte and 3-D architecture are far more than just fascinating. Functional prototypes of this battery are available; its manufacturing process remains to be up-scaled to an industrial level and to usable sizes for various applications. This battery will certainly remain benchmark for a long time once it is launched to market. The ultimate battery, however, would be a solid state 3-D quantum battery. Two completely entangled batteries of this type – one in a vehicle, the other permanently connected to a charger on-line, would be small, light, and cheap and would virtually never discharge.


It would be interesting to know what price these hybrid or full EVs could be purchased at if a very large order were made. I mean there are numerous large cities in the US that use buses as at least part of their public transportation. So, say these city form a purchasing consortium that takes bids for perhaps 2-3 thousand electric buses per year for 5 years. That kind of order could lead to significantly lower costs because of the scale of the manufacturing and the stability of the market it would create. Perhaps choose two companies so there is no bottleneck. I suppose this would be asking too much of the typically adversarial US politicians. They would have to check with the true masters to see if they were allowed.

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