The development of electrified buses in Gothenburg has evolved through several stages. The first so-called mild hybrid buses started rolling on the streets of Gothenburg as early as 2012. The buses charged when braking, which gave enough electricity to run a short distance on that electricity when they left the bus stop. The next step was the so-called Hyper Bus project with plug-in hybrid buses that were charged at the end stations and thus could run longer on electricity than the previous buses.
In June 2013, the City of Gothenburg, the Västra Götaland region and Volvo, along with several other parties, wrote a letter of intent to establish a fully electric bus route through Gothenburg by the summer of 2015. The establishment took place within ElectriCity which created the necessary demo arena. The result was line 55, which was followed up with additional electric buses on line 16 by the summer of 2018.
The tests carried out on the ElectriCity demo arena have been good and have provided useful experiences. Operational safety has been high and both travelers and drivers have been satisfied with the buses, which are appreciated for being quiet and free from pollution. The results have made it easier for new procurements, which the new and upcoming launches of more electric buses are proof of.
“The ElectriCity collaboration has laid the foundation for the large-scale electrification that Västtrafik conducts together with the City of Gothenburg. In total, we will have 230 electric buses in traffic next year, which means that Gothenburg and Western Sweden will take a clear leadership role in the development”, says Roger Vahnberg, Deputy CEO of Västtrafik.
Malin Andersson, Head of Department at the Urban Traffic Office, also highlights the collaboration within ElectriCity as a key to success.
“Within ElectriCity we have been able to test different technologies, conducted air and noise measurements and received very good response from travelers, drivers and residents. This has enabled the rapid and extensive conversion to silent and emission-free electric buses now taking place in Gothenburg.”