Polish-made Citywide hybrids hit the road

Polish-made Citywide hybrids hit the road

Hybrid technology is on the move in Słupsk, Poland. The Scania factory in the city is this week handing over its first batch of Citywide hybrid buses to Swedish bus company Vårgårdabuss. The customer was on site ahead of the delivery to test ride its new investment.

Twelve Citywide hybrid buses have been manufactured in Scania’s factory in Słupsk, Poland, and they’re now ready to be delivered to the customer, Vårgårdabuss. The Swedish bus company has about 60 buses in its fleet, with the newly purchased models the first hybrids. The buses will be operated in Alingsås in the service of transport agency Västtrafik, and so need to be able to meet high demands for fuel efficiency.

Vårgårdabuss' owners inspecting the bus.

Vårgårdabuss’ owners inspecting the bus.

An electric future

Joakim Claesson, co-owner of Vårgårdabuss.

Joakim Claesson, co-owner of Vårgårdabuss.

Joakim Claesson is a co-owner of Vårgårdabuss. “Electric power is the future, so it’s good to be able to start as soon as possible,” he says. “Everyone is going to be doing this.”

The new hybridised version of the Scania Citywide, featuring low-floor entry, is well suited for both inner city and suburban runs at speeds of up to 100km/h. From the driver’s point of view, there’s very little difference between the hybrid and a traditional diesel.

“The hybrid could possibly be experienced as gentler to drive,” says Peter Björk, Managing Director of Scania in Słupsk.

Critical role for drivers

The bus features a display that during operation shows stars as confirmation that the driver is driving in a fuel-efficient manner. “This works as a guide, but the drivers themselves need to know the best way to reduce fuel consumption,” says Björk.

He notes that driver training is important for saving fuel, even when it comes to hybrids. “The driver’s impact on fuel consumption is significant,” he says.

Striving to be better

According to Björk, the biggest challenge with development and production is continually exceeding past efforts.

Peter Björk, Managing Director of Scania in Słupsk.

Peter Björk, Managing Director of Scania in Słupsk.

“The next bus should always be the best we have built,” he says. “The product that we deliver is a part of the reason that the customer comes to us the next time they need a bus.”

The plan is for the Alingsås hybrid buses to be in use by 15 June. Following the delivery, the factory in Słupsk has another order waiting, this time from Norway.