A joint venture between the City of Malmö, bus passenger transport company Nobina Sweden and Skånetrafiken, part of a regional public body responsible for public transport on city and region buses and trains in Skåne, will see 15 new gas hybrid buses commence operation in Malmö in June 2014. The new concept is a gas hybrid premiere for Skånetrafiken, since the buses will run on a combination of biomethane and rechargeable batteries that charge when braking. The Euro 6 classification of the buses means a much lower environmental impact.
The SEK 100 million+ (USD 15 million) investment by Nobina marks the start of a completely new bus concept in Sweden, known as a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) solution, which is expected to lead to faster, more efficient and greener public transport. Malmö will be the first city in Sweden to boast a BRT solution, which involves the buses essentially being driven along special bus lanes with priority signaling. The solution involves lower infrastructure costs than trams, great comfort and excellent accessibility, even in peak traffic.
“We are very proud indeed to be the first in the Nordic region to invest in superbuses for a BRT solution. It’s also positive from an environmental point of view because the new buses are a gas hybrid model with a much lower environmental impact,” says CEO of Nobina Ragnar Norbäck.
The ‘superbus’ project is an EU project partly funded by the Delegation for Sustainable Cities and the European Regional Development Fund.
Sometimes referred to as a “tram-bus” because of its appearance, the hybrid “Exqui.City design Malmö” produced by Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool will be an electrically driven, 24-metre-long, bi-articulated vehicle, compared with today’s buses which have a maximum length of 18 meters. Its electricity will be produced by a generator connected to a Euro6 biogas (biomethane) engine.
This is Van Hool’s first order for gas hybrid Exqui.Citys for Scandinavia. The company has previously been awarded contracts to supply 92 similar models of the Exqui.City in Metz (France), Barcelona (Spain), Parma (Italy) and Geneva (Switzerland), among other places.
(This article primarily compiled using information from a Nobina AB press release)