The electric bus route 55 in Gothenburg, Sweden, has now been in service for over a year. How successful has the route been during that time? Very successful. Drivers and passengers have had very good things to say about the electric bus route, apparently.
During the first year of service, electric route 55 has ferried around 1.2 million passengers, and surpassed expectations “by a wide margin.”
In conjunction with the route’s one-year anniversary, the global ICT provider Ericsson has joined the ElectriCity Route 55 partnership.
Traffic on route 55 in Gothenburg began in June 2015 and the green electric buses soon became a common sight on the urban scene. Today the route between Chalmers and Lindholmen carries an average of 100,000 passengers a month. Surveys conducted by the ElectriCity partners reveal that both passengers and drivers appreciate the new electric bus route and that the vehicles, charging infrastructure, and bus stops more than meet the highest expectations.
According to Public Transport Authority Västtrafik, passengers are generally very satisfied with the service. The fact that the buses run on renewable electricity is regarded favourably, and the bus stops at Chalmersplatsen and Teknikgatan are rated very highly. About 80% of passengers appreciate the free WiFi on board, and no less than 93% feel that the low on-board noise level is a great benefit. Measurements carried out by Volvo confirm these perceptions and show considerable differences in noise between diesel and electric power, both inside and outside the buses, particularly at low speeds.
The bus operator, Keolis, conducted a survey of the drivers as well — which revealed that the relatively low noise levels of the electric buses was the biggest advantage, making for a better working and traveling environment. Another factor that was appreciated was the zone management system that limits speed in specific areas automatically.
The most recent statistics from Volvo, Keolis, and Västtrafik reveal that program results “are on a par with or have exceeded the targets for charging function, punctuality and service provision.”
“These excellent results show that the technology for electrified bus operations is ripe for more broad-based introduction. Electric power offers new possibilities for cities to transition public transport in a sustainable direction, promoting safer traffic and a healthier environment with less noise and better air quality,” stated Niklas Gustafsson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Volvo Group.
Not that that’s really a surprise to anyone — electric buses are becoming more and more common around the world (China in particular), and are proving that the technology is in many ways an improvement over internal combustion engine (ICE) buses.