Buses that are silent, energy efficient, and don’t release exhaust — sounds good, doesn’t it? Just such a bus service is now in development in the Swedish city of Gothenburg — it’s currently set to launch in 2015. The new “ultramodern” bus service will be entirely electric and powered entirely by renewable energy sources.
The project — ElectriCity — is the result of a partnership between the Volvo Group, the Swedish Energy Agency, the City of Gothenburg, Västtrafik, Lindholmen Science Park, and Johanneberg Science Park. Volvo will provide the new electric buses, which will be accompanied by trial runs of new types of bus stops, improved traffic routing systems, and improved energy supply systems.
“Like something out of a vision of the future, but which is already a reality here and now, buses powered entirely by electricity from renewable sources will become a part of Gothenburg’s public-transport system. The buses will be extremely fuel-efficient, silent and completely emissions-free. Passengers onboard will have access to new technologies and at least one of the bus stops will be located indoors.”
“This represents an entirely new mode of travel and will allow for the public-transport system to contribute to a more pleasant urban environment. A silent and emissions-free public-transport system will enable the inclusion of locations in the city that are currently off limits. It is immensely satisfying to be able to launch this in our hometown, in cooperation with Region Västra Götaland and the City of Gothenburg,” states Olof Persson, President and CEO of Volvo.
Part of the drive behind this project is the recognition that, with its successful implementation, a great deal of new possibilities will be created with regards to city and urban planning in Gothenburg. And, also, by increasing the appeal of public transportation — and along with it, ridership numbers — the city will be able to simultaneously improve air quality, lower carbon emissions, and reduce traffic… while also improving the general livability of the city and citizen health.
“The electric bus service entails a new mode of public-transport system usage, which is highly positive for Gothenburg. It will highlight Gothenburg as a progressive city in terms of city planning. This is also in line with our prioritized objective of having Gothenburg reduce its climate impact to become a climate-neutral city, and of increasing sustainable travel,” says Anneli Hulthén (Social Democrat), Chairman of the Municipal Board.
The project will likely clear the way for similar programs throughout the rest of the Västra Götaland region of Sweden. And hopefully elsewhere in the world. The city that I live in could certainly do with some electric buses… would be a big improvement over breathing diesel exhaust.