Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions
In this chapter:
The Volvo Group is expanding its range of hybrid vehicles as well as fully electric vehicles, while exploring plug-in technology. The products already on the market are described in this section and the products under testing and development are described in Future transports.
The Volvo Group is a leading player in hybrid technology for buses and trucks. Various types of hybrid solutions have been tested within the Group since the 1980s, and the first commercially viable hybrid solution for bus and truck was unveiled in 2006. The solution is based on a unique Volvo Group concept known as I-SAM (Integrated Starter Alternator Motor).
The Volvo Group’s I-SAM concept consists of an electric motor and a diesel engine working in parallel, whereby each of them can be used where they are most effective.
The solution can be used for different Volvo Group products and applications, thus reducing production costs and facilitating large-scale manufacturing. The most appropriate vehicles for hybrid drivelines are those operating in continuous stop-go conditions, such as city buses, refuse trucks and distribution trucks.
Serial production of the Volvo Hybrid city bus and the Volvo Hybrid double-decker started in 2010. Significant fuel savings of up to 39 percent make this bus a commercially viable option compared with many other hybrid technologies.
The technology functions equally well when there is greater distance between bus stops, not only in highly congested traffic situations. The diesel engine does not start until the bus reaches 15–20 km/hour, which ensures a quiet and exhaust-free environment at bus stops.
A total of approximately 1,000 hybrid city buses with Volvo in-house technology have been sold to customers by the end of 2012.
The Volvo Group has offered two models of hybrid trucks in selected European markets since 2011 – the Volvo FE Hybrid and the Renault Premium Hybrys-Tech. The Volvo FE Hybrid has a fuel saving potential of 15–20 percent in distribution applications.
In 2012 the Renault Premium Hybrys entered the Spanish market in a refuse truck configuration. The Volvo Group also joined forces with French partners to develop the first hybrid vehicle in the world featuring cryogenic refrigeration and the Piek label – the world’s most stringent noise certification.
The world’s first semi-hybrid for inland waterway tanker was presented in 2012. This ship was built by Shipyard Trico B.V. and is equipped with two different types of Volvo Penta diesel engines. The combination of reduced size standard propulsion engines and electricity generator engines saves up to 30 percent in fuel consumption.
Fully electric vehicles
Fully electric buses
In China there is a huge interest for alternative drivelines and fuels. Sunwin Bus, the Chinese joint venture of Volvo Bus, is the world leading supplier of fully electric buses longer than 10 meters. A total of more than 800 buses have been sold by the end of 2012.
The fully electric buses emit no particulate matter, nitrogen oxides or carbon dioxide during use, and have very low noise levels.
Fully electric trucks
Renault Trucks has developed a fully electric 4.5-ton truck, Renault Maxity Electric, in partnership with electric commercial vehicle manufacturer PVI. This vehicle, like the fully electric buses, emits no particulate matter, nitrogen oxides or carbon dioxide. It also emits very low noise levels, which makes it suitable for operations at night and in restricted low-emission zones.
The Renault Maxity Electric is available for long-term rental on the French market. Twenty units are being operated and the very first one, delivered in 2010, has registered a total of 100,000 km.