TEC launches first 11 Volvo Electric hybrid buses

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TEC Group launches first 11 hybrid buses

On Friday 13 January, TEC introduced 11 zero emission hybrid buses which will be used on the urban network of the city of Namur as from Monday, 16 January.

TEC opts for hybrid

The 11 electric hybrid standard buses with zero emission (Volvo 7900 electric hybrid model) ordered in January 2016 were launched today in the presence of Maxime Prévot, Mayor of Namur, and Carlo Di Antonio, Walloon Minister of Mobility.

This new technology allows for both improving energy efficiency of the bus fleet and limiting their environmental impact. The city centre of Namur can then be crossed with zero emission. By opting for hybrid, the TEC group is also actively participating in the objectives of COP21 and supporting Wallonia's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030. The order for 298 additional hybrid vehicles to be delivered in 2017, 2018 and 2019 forms part of this same ambition.

As Carlo Di Antonio, Wallonia's Minister of Mobility, pointed out: "Our environmental demands are growing in terms of mobility and we should welcome this initiative. Putting this type of bus into service, and the order for 298 additional hybrid vehicles by the SRWT, shows the region's desire to act to improve air quality. Through this investment, Wallonia also underlines its strategy to make its public transport fleet more environmentally friendly and its determination to enter a new era".

How does a rechargeable hybrid bus work ?

This vehicle uses several sources of energy: diesel and electricity. Its batteries can be recharged during stops at bus terminals fitted with pantographs which are situated at Jambes (Amée) and Erpent. The energy used for recharging is 100% green.

When the vehicle is travelling, part of the energy used to slow down is recuperated by the batteries. The bus is therefore partly recharged during the process of slowing down or descending slopes.

In these vehicles, the changeover to electric mode is controlled by an on-board computer using GPS positioning and the independent operation of the batteries.

Advantages

The 11 vehicles ordered by the TEC Group have three major advantages :

  • By using electricity from renewable sources, the hybrid bus reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared with a conventional vehicle.
  • Diesel consumption is reduced by 70% compared with conventional vehicles.
  • The vehicles are silent. The hybrid solution also improves comfort by reducing noise and vibrations.
  • In addition, these new vehicles provide additional comfort for passengers (increased seating space, integrated climate control, USB chargers, leather seating, etc.). The bus will also carry exterior advertising to draw the attention of TEC passengers and local residents to these advantages.

Next steps

The 11 new hybrid buses will come on stream on the urban network of Namur as from Monday, 16 January. They will be used mainly on lines 2, 8 and 9. In April 2017, the timetables of these routes will be adapted to optimise recharging time and further reduce pollution in the urban area by using electricity as much as possible. Eventually by September 2017, bus timetables will be revised to maximise the number of recharges per day for each vehicle. A third recharging point will then also be set up in the Belgrade district of Namur.

The TEC in figures

  • More than 5 000 employees
  • More than 264 million passengers transported per year (calculation base 2014)
  • 27.5% young people aged between 12 and 25 have a TEC season ticket
  • Nearly 2 500 vehicles in circulation
  • 782 lines and 16 150 stops
  • 118 000 million kilometres covered per year

Eric De Roy

Source : www.linkedin.com
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