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Silent buses to woo Gothenburg commuters

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Silent buses to woo Gothenburg commuters
10:52 CEST+02:00
Swedish automaker Volvo is set to launch a fleet of silent, electric buses in Gothenburg, as part of the west coast city's aim to become climate-neutral as well as tackle noise pollution.

"The electric bus service entails a new mode of public-transport system usage, which is highly positive for Gothenburg. It will highlight Gothenburg as a progressive city in terms of city planning," Gothenburg Mayor Anneli Hulthén said in statement.

"This is also in line with our prioritized objective of having Gothenburg reduce its climate impact to become a climate-neutral city."

"This represents an entirely new mode of travel and will allow for the public-transport system to contribute to a more pleasant urban environment," commented Olof Persson, President and CEO of Volvo, in a press release from the company.

The new eco-buses, planned for launch in 2015, will be powered entirely by electricity from renewable sources, which will reduce the usual roar of a buss to a purr. The fleet will also be fuel efficient and emissions free.

Sweden has decreased its green-house emissions during 2011-2012, with a reduction of road traffic and purchases of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles seen as contributing to the decrease, according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket).

Behind the new public transport-focused initiative is the Volvo Group, in cooperation with the Swedish Energy Agency, the City of Gothenburg, regional transport stakeholders Västtrafik, and several local research centres.

Because the buses are so silent and so clean, they could be allowed access to areas of Gothenburg where buses have up until now been banned.

"A silent and emissions-free public-transport system will enable the inclusion of locations in the city that are currently off limits," the Volvo CEO said.

It is hoped the ultramodern bus service, with its use of renewable power, will not only place Gothenburg on the map in terms of sustainable and innovative solutions for public transport. but that the new bus service will also open up new possibilities in city and urban planning.

In addition to the electric buses, the project will also look at the creation and trial runs of new bus-stop solutions, traffic-routing systems, safety concepts, energy supply and business models.

The project, known as ElectriCity, aims to attract more commuters to use public transport and to clear the way for more, attractive public-transport solutions in the Västra Götaland region.

Victoria Hussey

Follow Victoria on Twitter here

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