A fleet of ten new Volvo hybrid buses have entered service on the Lothian Buses route 1, which includes Easter Road and London Road.
The high-tech buses have an electric motor and a diesel engine, which means that they use around 60% less fuel – and produce about 30% less pollution. Indeed, one local resident told us that they hardly seem to use the diesel engine at all going down Easter road, as the electric engine is used to pull away and for low speed travel.
The buses also feature free wi-fi for customers too.
Coincidentally, this week also saw the expansion of official pollution zones to cover Easter Road and London Road. As conventional buses are a significant source of air pollution on busy city streets, there will be many who will be keen to see whether these new hybrid replacements will have any impact on the pollution problems on Easter Road and London Road.
As air pollution kills about 3000 people each year in Scotland, this is not an insignificant problem. Indeed, if air pollution cannot be tackled, it’s likely that the council will be forced to introduce some form of emissions charging for vehicles entering the most polluted areas.
For the bus geeks amongst you, here’s more details from the Volvo press release in the meantime:
“The 7900H is the new complete Volvo vehicle, launched at Euro Bus Expo, in October 2012. Built on a hybrid driveline, the new 12.1 metre single deck bus offers reliability and high performance, whilst the body frame is specifically designed to save weight and therefore reduce fuel consumption. In fact the 7900H produces 30 per cent less emissions and uses 60 per cent less fuel than a diesel bus.
“Specified with a Volvo D5F 4.8 litre 4 cylinder engine, rated at 215 hp and supported by a Volvo Electric Motor, rated at 120 kW, with a Volvo I-Shift gearbox, the 7900H combines a number of proven Volvo systems together.
“Taking advantage of the complete Volvo build, the hybrid battery and several of the systems and cooling circuits are roof-mounted. This increases internal space and also assists in optimising weight distribution.
“Pneumatically controlled, wide, inward gliding entrance doors promote ease of access, while a step-less low floor and a fully optimised internal space allows for 89 seated and standing passengers.
“Travelling experience is further enhanced with silent boarding and take-off thanks to the hybrid engine’s ‘stop start’ feature, where the vehicle pulls away from the bus stop in pure electric mode. The 7900H also includes electronically controlled air suspension and smooth pneumatically controlled EBS 5 braking.”
Of course some Leithers may already have travelled on the number 10, which is also usually a hybrid diesel-electic double decker. Those buses were so exciting when they first went into service, Emily Dodd wrote a poem dedicated to them.
Thanks to Georgeaimer for posting the YouTube video in this post.