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Volvo Starts Hybrid Bus Tests in Mexico and Brazil

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Volvo announced Tuesday it will start test driving of its hybrid buses in Brazil and Mexico.

In May this year, Volvo Buses launched serial production of its hybrid buses, the Volvo 7700 Hybrid and the double-decker Volvo B5L Hybrid. The company has secured orders for about 150 hybrid buses in Europe.

In South America, test driving is being conducted in cooperation with the Clinton Climate Initiative organization, which focuses on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

For the past few days, the first hybrid bus has been operating in test traffic in Curitiba, Brazil, in collaboration with URBS, the company responsible for local traffic in the city.

After Curitiba, the Volvo 7700 Hybrid will be tested in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and later also in Bogota, Colombia.

A Volvo 7700 Hybrid also recently arrived in Mexico, where it will be tested in Mexico City for a dedicated service running through the historic centre to connect two BRT lines using hybrids exclusively. It will also feature at a conference on sustainable transports in Mexico City and, in particular, at the major COP 16 climate conference in Cancun.

The Volvo 7700 Hybrid bus is a parallel hybrid, which means that a diesel engine and an electric motor work together or independently to power the bus. In urban traffic fuel savings are up to 35 percent and in suburban traffic approximately 20 percent.

The electric motor is used to start the bus and to accelerate it up to about 20 km/h, giving you considerable fuel savings and near-silent take-offs. With full torque from the start the acceleration is excellent, offering quick starts from standstills.

At higher speeds, the diesel engine takes over, while also recharging the batteries. Since the electric motor serves both as a motor and a generator you actually recharge when driving and braking. During idling at a red light or bus stop the diesel engine is shut off, resulting in zero emissions.

Volvo says that the 7700 Hybrid bus can reduce NOx and particulate emissions by as much as 40–50 percent. With an optional filter particulate matter can be reduced by an additional 80 percent.

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