TEBORG, Sweden – Volvo Group plans to reinforce its electric bus project with its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry (Group) Corp. (SAIC), through their joint venture, Shanghai Sunwin Bus Corp. (Sunwin). Volvo will also bring electric products to China through other channels, disclosed Håkan Agnevall, bus company president of Volvo Group, and Niklas Gustafsson, CSO of Volvo Group, during an interview with business.sohu.com recently.
“The Volvo electric bus is not only a bus, but also an eco-system,” said Agnevall. “It is very quiet and can provide a 7/24 service,” added the president.
The company will adopt hybrid bus route in China in the long run due to the high requirements of electric buses for infrastructure facilities.
Volvo will also conduct cooperation with large industrial groups such as Siemens and ABB to provide service and suggestions to any city that is interested in electric vehicles and charging facilities.
Volvo will trace the usage conditions of each power battery of its electric bus and charge service fees. The company will replace a new battery for users for free after the old one goes out of service, which reduces operational risks to a large extent since users would no longer worry about the sudden collapse of their batteries.
Agnevall also emphasized the chance-charging concept, which means to charge the batteries at every chance and increase the charging frequency. For example, the bus will be charged at every stop or at the terminal of the route with charging activity not affecting the bus schedule.
Moreover, with frequent charging times, the bus does not need heavy load of batteries, which helps reduce bus weight. Weight reduction also helps cut costs and allows for a load with more passengers.
Yang Chuantang, minister of the Ministry of Transport, visited the Volvo Group in May and test-drove the electric bus. Yang showed great interest in Volvo’s electrification bus project introduced by Gustafsson.
Volvo will focus on the sustainable development of the society, economy and environment, and endeavor to become a first-rate provider of sustainable traffic solutions.
The group has signed an agreement with SAIC to cooperate in the R&D of electric buses, however, the Chinese party will adopt long-time charging mode same as that of Tesla’s without adopting the chance-charging mode. Sunwin Bus has released an electric bus that requires charging every other night. The buses are running on the roads of Shanghai currently. Chance-charging is the next step in electrification and Volvo will promote this charging mode to China at a later stage, and will introduce its partner Siemens into the game then.