The Harrogate Bus Company of the UK has placed an order for eight Volvo 7900 electric buses. The vehicles will operate in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester.
When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first in the UK to use opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge. The charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now being used as a common interface in more than 12 countries.
Charging takes place via a specialist overhead mast, which connects to the bus via a fully automated pantograph, and takes between three and six minutes to complete.
Volvo says its electric bus has 80 percent lower energy consumption than the corresponding diesel bus.
“This is about making Harrogate a UK leader in clean, green public transport,” said Alex Hornby, CEO of The Harrogate Bus Company. “When we introduce our new electric buses next year, it’ll be the first time that this ‘next generation’ power technology will be in use anywhere in the UK.”
The project has been partly funded by the Government’s Low Emission Bus Scheme (£2.25 million). The largest single market for Volvo’s hybrid buses thus far is the UK, which accounts for almost half (1,425) of the vehicles in operation.
“It is extremely gratifying that Volvo’s first full electric buses will enter into service in the UK next year. The UK is one of our biggest markets for our electromobility program and we are excited about working together with Transdev Blazefield to make Harrogate a UK leader in clean, green public transport”, said Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Buses.