Swedish truck manufacturer Scania AB announced last week that Stockholm’s Busslink has purchased 85 buses powered by ethanol. Busslink is the operator for Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL), which is Stockholm’s public transit system. SL is getting ahead on its vow to purchase buses and vehicles powered only by renewable fuels starting in 2010. Scania’s buses will be split between northern and southern Stockholm routes with the fleet split in half between city and commuter routes.
Scania AB will deliver 85 units of its third-generation ethanol bus to Busslink between September 2009 and April 2010. Each bus is powered by a blend of ethanol and ignition improver. Scania’s ethanol engine is a modified 9-liter diesel engine capable of producing 270 horsepower in high gear. The fuel blend along with a streamlined drive train is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to diesel-powered buses. If these emissions hold up in real-world situations, they will easily exceed Euro 4 and EEV requirements. The OmniCity and Omnilink bodies used by Scania AB for its ethanol buses feature full side kneeling, oversized doors and accessible floor levels to ensure easy entry and exit by passengers.
Busslink’s order from Scania AB represents the company’s largest order since 2004. Scania has delivered nearly 600 ethanol powered buses worldwide with Swedish municipalities purchasing 500 units in the past decade. While Busslink may represent the company’s largest order in five years, 100 buses from Scania have been registered in Sweden in 2009. The rollout of 85 ethanol buses in a single municipality will act as a test of the vehicle’s technical and production capabilities for prospective buyers.
The Busslink order represents a great testing ground for Scania AB’s ethanol buses. Busslink’s plan to run ethanol buses in stop-and-go urban environments as well as commuter situations will put Scania technology through the ringer. This ethanol bus fleet will put projected emissions, fuel mileage standards and performance levels to the test in a real world environment. Scania can continue its upward climb in the ethanol vehicle market with a successful rollout in Stockholm as well as positive results in test runs in Great Britain of its diesel-electric buses.