Trust a Scandinavian country to be well ahead of the curve on green energy. Having lived in Vaxjo, Sweden (which is quite possibly the greenest city in Europe) for nearly six months, I can tell you that the Swedes take this green energy stuff quite seriously.
So it should come as no surprise that the northern city of Umea, Sweden has debuted a hybrid bus called the “Arctic Whisper.” This bad boy features an overhead charging station by Opbrid which (according to the company) will allow the bus to travel up to 18 hours without support from its diesel engine, with only minor five-minute pit stops in between routes to recharge.
The best part about this nifty system: one Opbrid Busbaar charging station can recharge any number of these green buses for a fraction of the cost of filling the behemoth with diesel—between 1-2 Euros worth of electricity can take the bus 10 kilometers, compared to 7-8 Euros for the diesel engine to move it the same distance.
Of course, the diesel engine is still there in a pinch, making the Arctic Whisper a versatile beast indeed. If deployed correctly, though, the bus should almost never need it. Knowing the Swedes, the only time they’ll be firing up the good old diesel motor is in an emergency. This is just another front in the ongoing effort to green bus travel. From London to China, ultracapacitors to hydrogen fuel cells, plug-in hybrids and even buses that straddle the road, the bus of the future is going to be very different in the coming years.
This is cutting-edge technology, folks. The potential is there to save a fortune on energy costs. The technology will only get better.
It’s an exciting time to be alive, no?