The combustion engine isn’t dead yet and has plenty of mileage left in it, reckons Lars Stenqvist, evp of technology at Volvo Trucks. “Hybrid solutions are the future for transport and the combustion engine will be part of that,” he told the Volvo Group Innovation Summit at Here East in London this week. “It will remain a cornerstone for decades to come, so you need to include it in your solutions. The one thing you have to do is take out the diesel thinking.”
For cities, and for public transport in particular, Stenqvist is thinking electric. “Electrification will change the way we look at city planning,” he said. “Imagine, for example, indoor bus stops in hospitals, completely silent trucks working through the night.”
That’s one reason Volvo is backing the OppCharge vehicle charging platform which is able to power up a range of buses from different manufacturers via a pole-mounted charging system using proven pantograph technology and vehicle-mounted charging rails. Also onboard OppCharge are the leading likes of Iveco, Siemens and ABB.
Electric buses are proving to be the only sustainable and affordable way for urban transportation, said Ulf Magnusson, European svp, Volvo Bus. “But cities really now need to be putting in the requisite infrastructure.
And they shouldn’t be out off by capex, said Stenqvist. “Green isn’t always the expensive option, and, of course, prices are determined by the take rate from the market. For buses, operators need to adopt a life cycle perspective and have to take longer-term view on the savings they will make through greater efficiency."