“With this acquisition, the city of Bogota definitively enters the age of electromobility and takes a major step in adopting a sustainable urban mass transit system, both from an economical and an environmental stand point”, affirms Luis Carlos Pimenta, President of Volvo Bus Latin America.
The buyers are Consórcio Express, acquiring 156 vehicles; and GMovil, acquiring 44 vehicles. The deal includes, in addition to the chassis, a 12-year battery protection contract and a five-year service agreement. The buses will be bodied by Busscar and Superpolo in Colombia.
“Our hybrids are the best option on the market and this deal consolidates Volvo’s leadership in electromobility not only in Europe, but also in Latin America. Once again, we are breaking paradigms and offering the market a new solution in transportation. This is a breakthrough order for us and we expect more orders to follow”, says Luis Carlos Pimenta.
The hybrids, which will start operating in Bogota in December 2013, will expand the coverage of the city’s Integrated Public Transportation System. Part of the route will be on the TransMilêmio trunk lines (dedicated lanes) and part will be on the regular street grid, where there currently are no feeder lines. The buses will have doors with access steps on the right hand side and bus-floor level doors on the left side, to allow boarding and debarkation at the Transmilêmio stops.
The city of Bogota is working towards putting in place an urban transport system based on clean energies, creating a new class of compensation for hybrid or electrical drive vehicles.
Total vehicle maintenance included
With the onset of production of hybrid buses in Curitiba in June 2012, Volvo established a new business model. The sale of the hybrids includes a solution package that ensures peace of mind for carrier operators. The package includes total vehicle maintenance, from filter and oil changes all the way to repairs.
“In the same format as deployed for the 100 percent diesel vehicles, Volvo Buses now has a full service plan that covers our hybrids, offering operators support and availability at a fixed cost per kilometer”, explains Euclides Castro, urban bus manager at Volvo Bus Latin America.
The company signs a battery contract for monthly installment payments to cover any form of battery repair or changes until the end of the vehicle’s lifecycle.
This ensures a linear cost, free of risk for the customers.
Less fuel, less emissions
Volvo’s hybrid buses consume up to 39 percent less fuel and emit 39 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional diesel buses. In addition, the vehicles issue 50 percent less particles and nitrogen oxide (NOX).
Volvo’s hybrid bus runs entirely on electricity, quietly and emission-free, from standstill to a speed of 15-20 km/h. At higher speeds the bus receives additional power from a small 4-cylinder diesel engine running on biodiesel. The energy generated during engine braking is stored in the on-board batteries and is used to power the bus’s electric motor and auxiliary systems.