When Volvo Buses participates in the Busworld exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium, in October, the spotlight will fall on two major new products: the Volvo 7900 Electric – Volvo’s first series produced electric bus under its own brand; and the unique Volvo Dynamic Steering stabilisation system.
Busworld Kortrijk marks the global unveiling of the Volvo 7900 Electric, Volvo Buses’ first mass-produced city bus powered exclusively by electricity. Quiet and emission free, the model is around 80 percent 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 the 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. A feature of Volvo’s trucks since 2013, VDS is one of the manufacturer’s most significant and acclaimed innovations of recent years.
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 percent, 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.