Volvo hybrid tech and alternative power
One of the most interesting displays at the 2014 Euro Bus Expo was the Volvo stand with a B5TL chassis, a 9700 coach and the latest 7900 Hybrid Volvo saloon. All these vehicles had Euro6 engines further reducing emissions, the B7RLE is also being replace by a Euro6 standard B8RLE with Wrights and MCV bodywork.
Lothian Transport has purchased two batches of the new stylish 7900H saloons, at the start of the show on November 4th, another 40 are on order. Like the Arriva Shires has a batch of induction boosted Wrights StreetLites, these are given power at terminus. The induction plates rise from the ground and connect with the minibus giving additional boost of power. The 7900H also gains a power boost, again by using an induction method, this time from above. Volvo and Edinburgh council are working together to ensure that the new look buses are ready for service. The route will have power points to ensure an extra boost, but it will be at the terminus were the power will be given. When the bus is stationary power will be given via a pantograph which connects with the bus, via an interesting piece of street furniture. Edinburgh council is working with Lothian Transport to build the structures in time for delivery, it will interesting to see if other operators/councils will embrace the new induction tech.
Plaxton Coaches on parade
Plaxton still continues to provide stylish coaches for the industry, with Euro6 examples now being built for delivery. The Panther has the current styling form the Elite and Elitei coaches, which are mounted on the Volvo range of coach chassis with three lengths 12.6, 12.8 and 15m. The Leopard body is a new 12.8m body for the mid range coach travel, which has gained some interesting purchases, with Steels of Addingham getting the first one. Anderson Travel had the Leopard on display, while Mayne had a stylish Panther. The Elitei on display is for Acklam's the East Yorkshire coach operator, N.A.T and Stagecoach Megabus operate the Elitei. The Elitei arrived with interest in late 2012/13 on the Volvo B11R chassis for Stagecoach Megabus.