Scania Hybrid Buses to be Tested in Stockholm

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Scania, the third largest producer of trucks and buses recently announced that they will be testing their hybrid buses in cooperation with Storstockholms Lokaltrafik, the regional public transport system in Stockholm. The large-scale testing will begin next year and will last for approximately one whole year at the least. The design of the hybrid bus is already prepared and a prototype may be produced by as early as May this year.

The Swedish bus manufacturer has acquired the support of the Swedish Energy Agency which has provided more than SEK 16 million to the hybrid project. The truck and bus manufacturer known for prioritizing the fuel efficiency of their trucks already has the technology to further decrease the fuel consumption of their buses by as much as 25 percent or even more. This kind of efficiency is similar to the efficiency of an in stopping a car safely.

The use of the hybrid buses on the city streets of Stockholm will increase the popularity of Scania as a producer of environment friendly vehicles. "Carbon dioxide emissions from traffic can be reduced by lowering fuel consumption and transitioning to renewable vehicle fuels," said Hasse Johansson, the Head of Research and Development for Scania.

The hybrid capability of the Scania buses will be the perfect solution for fuel consumption issues that arises during city driving where numerous stops are being made. It is known that hybrid vehicles are made for this type of driving and this is where they show their unique advantage over conventional fuel-powered engines. What makes hybrid vehicles a fuel efficient vehicle is that during idling or low speeds, the engine takes a break and lets the electric motor carry the load. The non-use of the engine during idling greatly reduces the amount of emissions being given off by the vehicle. Aside from that fact, the Scania buses will also run on alternative fuel which is a clean burning fuel.

These facts are emphasized by Johansson in his statement: "Scania combines reduced fuel consumption with renewable fuel in its hybrid technology. This technology is expected to save at least 25 percent fuel. The engine- a high-efficiency diesel engine- is powered by ethanol, a renewable fuel. The technology is robust and dimensioned to last for the normal service life of the bus. We regard this as an optimal combination for city traffic, with its constant stopping and acceleration".

The efforts being made by automotive companies like Scania is commendable for they now are offering new ways to travel without having to worry about the impact of the vehicle on the environment. With developments such as this, the future of mass transportation on land looks brighter and cleaner too. The continuing efforts by manufacturers and other companies in the development of alternative fuels and other technology to be used on automobiles will only be to the benefit of the entire global community. The study being made in the fields of alternative energy, just like what Scania has done, will likely lead to the development of technologies which will bring down the production costs of hybrid buses, trucks, and cars. You see, when the production cost is reduced, more and more hybrid vehicles will be made available for the public.

In conclusion, Johansson stated that: "In a longer perspective, innovations such as hybrid drive will help us to meet stricter environmental targets for city traffic. Even today, however, we can take a major step towards lowering the environment impact of public transport by operating on such renewable fuels as ethanol and rapeseed methyl ester (RME)."

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