A full-size low-floor city bus that cuts fossil CO2 emissions by up to 90% if fuelled with ethanol and saves at least 25% fuel is the essence of Scania‘s hybrid bus concept.

The truck maker claims its latest concept achieves all of these objectives, while meeting the lowest emission levels (Euro 5 and EEV), and also appeals to passengers because it is convenient and comfortable, to drivers with manoeuvrability for the tightest city environments and to operators since it uses technology designed to last the life of the bus.

Energy storage makes use of supercapacitors, which are much more robust than batteries in heavy-duty operation.

Making its debut at the UITP public transport congress in Helsinki on 21 May, the new concept bus is the result of a three-year development project conducted at the Scania Technical Centre in Södertälje, Sweden.

Hasse Johansson, group vice president research and development said: “Making public transport more convenient to attract more passengers is the best way to combat congestion and reduce environmental problems in cities. Scania’s concept bus, with its low floor, big doors, uncluttered interior and automatic ticketing system is a big step in this direction. Passenger comfort and circulation are outstanding for a full-size city bus.

“The ethanol hybrid concept bus demonstrates Scania’s commitment to participate in the transition into a sustainable urban transport system – a transition that needs to start right away.

“Scania sees no reason to wait for other new fuels and technologies that could become viable in 10 years’ time.

“With our innovative hybrid-drive concept we improve fuel economy and cut emissions by at least 25% and running on ethanol reduces fossil CO2 emissions by up to 90%. This combination of technologies paves the way for affordable and realistic city transport for many years to come.”

Twelve conventional ethanol buses equipped with Scania’s hybrid-drive system will start regular operation in Stockholm in 2008 and 2009 in cooperation with the city’s public transport operator, SL (Storstockholms lokaltrafik). Ten of these are partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.

Scania considers ethanol to be by far the most cost-efficient renewable fuel on the market today, taking into account factors like availability, infrastructure and access to proven technology. Depending on production method, fossil CO2 emissions are cut by up to 90%.