Buses are in the vanguard of the shift to fossil-free transport, and the launch at Busworld of Scania’s new bus range is a crucial step forward. Anna Carmo e Silva, Scania’s Head of Buses and Coaches, tells us more.
With the launch of its new city and suburban bus range at Busworld 2019, Scania passes another milestone in its work to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system.
Indeed, the battery-electric (BEV) bus unveiled at the world’s biggest bus trade fair gives Scania Buses and Coaches a full range of sustainable transport solutions.
“It’s a very exciting time for Scania Buses and Coaches. We have so much going on, with the launch of the new bus range and the business opportunities that are opening up through the industry’s intense discussions about sustainability,” says Anna Carmo e Silva, Scania’s Senior Vice-President, Head of Buses and Coaches, who has long worked in the bus and coach sector.
“Sustainable technology is taking off in so many parts of the world, and Scania has a very important role to play in making it happen.”
Sustainable technology and Scania’s role
The Citywide low-floor, battery electric bus will be the company’s first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in series production, and it complements the existing sustainable solutions Scania Buses and Coaches has to offer. Carmo e Silva is very proud of the BEV milestone and pays tribute to the years of hard work and dedication of the many teams across Scania who worked on the project.
The BEV bus is joined on the exhibition stand in Brussels by the Scania Interlink medium-decker bus, powered by liquid natural gas, as well as a hybrid-electric chassis and a separate drivers area showing a number of new features in the new generation buses.
There will be more than 500 exhibitors at Busworld, which takes place every two years and attracts thousands of attendees. It’s an ideal forum for Scania.
“Busworld is such a great place for us to introduce the new range because the whole industry is there – customers, bus and coach bodybuilders and public transport authorities – these are the people we need to meet so we can drive the shift,” says Carmo e Silva.
Public authorities’ role in fossil-free transport
The importance of transport authorities in enabling the shift to cleaner, safer and smarter transport cannot be overstated. Those in charge of transport systems in the likes of Paris, Bogotà and Madrid are driving positive, far-reaching changes by introducing legal restrictions on diesel transport on their streets – and by issuing tenders for public transport that insist on vehicles that run on fossil-free fuels.
“In many ways, bus customers are leading the way towards fossil-free transport and we regularly have conversations with them and other stakeholders to understand market requirements,” says Carmo e Silva.
“We still believe there’s no single solution for issues such as congestion and sustainability, but electric vehicles will definitely be important in many cities, so the BEV bus launch is a very important step. And we are also seeing a huge interest in gas vehicles from South America, so having the full range of solutions is vitally important.”
Passenger comfort can also drive transport shift
Other often overlooked aspects in the effort to increase use of public transport are the passenger and driver experiences. Anna Carmo e Silva says cleaner, more spacious and better-looking bus makes passenger’s journeys more enjoyable, and a well-designed and ergonomic driver area makes drivers happier in their job.
“Sustainability is not only about the vehicle’s engine technology. It’s also about making it attractive for passengers to travel by bus, and for drivers to drive them. That’s why we’ve been focusing a lot on the passenger experience, with bigger windows, light colours, and plenty of space, on driver comfort and functionality, and making it easier to keep the bus clean.”
Now Scania is ready for the world’s biggest bus show. And it’s ready to help give public transport a cleaner, safer and smarter future.