|Years in operation||2H 2018–|
|Transmission||Volvo AT2412E I-Shift|
|Accessibility||Low Floor & Wheelchair-accessible|
|Emission Standard||Euro VI (EGR + SCR)|
The Volvo B5LH (also known as the Volvo BRLH or B5L Hybrid) is a low-floor, twin-axle, diesel-hybrid city bus chassis built by Volvo Buses for both single-deck and double-deck buses. The bus is commonly fitted in Europe as a double-deck bus, with bodywork options from Wrightbus, ADL and MCV.
50 units of the Volvo B5LH single-deck bus were procured by the Land Transport Authority in 2017 as part of efforts to build a more environmentally friendly public bus fleet. These buses are bodied with the MCV Evora bodywork (stylized as eVoRa) and expected to enter service starting from the second half of 2018. Read more about the procurement process here. Initially, these buses were incorrectly referred to as Volvo 7900 Hybrid buses in Volvo press releases; they are in fact different from the completely-built-up integral bus offered by Volvo.
European and Australian bus operators are primary customers of the Volvo B5LH, particularly in the United Kingdom where more than 1,100 vehicles have entered service since its introduction in 2009. The Volvo B5LH is also the basis for the Volvo 7900 Hybrid integral bus, which is deployed in the UK, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Estonia, Poland, as well as Colombia.
Related Article: Volvo B5LH – Chassis and Technical Overview
Pre-production units of the Volvo B5LH were manufactured in 2008, with serial production commencing in 2010. Like the Volvo 7900 Hybrid, was initially offered with a Euro V/EEV diesel or CNG engine in both rigid and articulated bus variants. The Euro VI engine range was offered starting from 2013.
As its name implies, the Volvo B5LH runs on both diesel and electricity (more specifically, a parallel hybrid drivetrain), which achieves up to 39% fuel savings and reducing NOx/PM emissions by almost to 50%. By using electricity to power the bus during periods of high energy demand, less strain is put on the combustion engine, hence lowering fuel consumption and emissions.
The standard 10.5-metre Volvo B5LH variant is available in both LHD and RHD models and the chassis can be extended if required. A current 18.0-metre articulated variant is also offered.Volvo Hybrid System - Technical Details (Click to expand)
In the Volvo B5LH, electricity is generated during cruising and regenerative braking, and stored in lithium-ion battery cells. The energy in the batteries is released to assist the engine in powering the vehicle. Hence, the engine is less strained while accelerating or going up hills, reducing fuel consumption.
The Volvo Hybrid Driveline is the core of the parallel hybrid system, comprising of four main components: the Euro VI diesel engine, the I-SAM motor, the automated gearbox and the energy storage system. The Integrated Starter Alternator Motor (I-SAM) is key to the hybrid process, combining a motor/generator with a Powertrain Control Unit and a DC/AC Power Electronic Converter (PEC) to convert the electrical energy into mechanical energy and vice versa in-between periods of motoring and regenerative braking.
In a parallel hybrid drivetrain, the combustion engine and the electric motor are connected to the transmission independently. During periods of high energy demand, both the electric motor and the combustion engine power the transmission This differs from a series hybrid drivetrain, where the bus is propelled exclusively by the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine is connected to an electric generator which converts the energy produced by the internal combustion engine into electric power for the motors.
In Singapore, 50 units of the Volvo B5LH bodied with the MCV eVoRa bodywork were procured by the Land Transport Authority in 2017 as part of efforts to build a more environmentally friendly public bus fleet. These buses are expected to enter service starting from the second half of 2018. Read more about the procurement process here.
Buses were first spotted in Singapore in late August 2018, and registration commenced on 1 November 2018 (with SG3003K – SG3005E to SBS Transit, while SG3007A, SG3009U & SG3016Z to SMRT Buses). The Volvo B5LH buses are expected to be registered SG3000T to SG3049D.
|Basic Technical Specifications|
|Engine||Volvo D5K240, 5132cc
Power/torque rating of 240hp (177 kW) @ 2200 rpm | 900Nm @ 1200-1600 rpm
|Emissions control||Euro VI-compliant
Engine combines Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), hence requiring diesel exhaust fluids such as AdBlue
|Motor / Battery||Volvo I-SAM Electric Motor, paired with Li-Ion batteries
600V AC permanent magnet motor, rated at 160 hp (120 kW) /800Nm max and 94 hp (70 kW) / 400 Nm continuous
Acts as a generator to recharge 600V / 4.8 kWh lithium-ion batteries during braking
|Transmission||Volvo AT2412E I-Shift gearbox
Twelve-speed automated transmission
|Bodywork||MCV eVoRa Bodywork
Assembled in Egypt, and shipped to Singapore fully assembled
|Passenger Capacity||28 seated + 56 standing + 2 Wheelchair Bays
|Additional Specifications||SMC Transit door systems
Valeo REVO-E electric air-conditioning system
Mobileye 630 & Mobileye Shield+ Collision Avoidance System
TNT Surveillance Golden Eye Anti-Fatigue System
Volvo I-Coaching Telematics
FOBO Ultra Wireless Tire Pressure Monitoring System
USB Charging Ports
Automatic Passenger Counting System
As a diesel-electric hybrid bus, the Volvo B5LH combines a conventional internal combustion engine and an electric motor for its propulsion system. The small, 5.1-litre diesel engine is supplemented by the Integrated Starter Alternator Motor (I-SAM) system, which draws electricity from onboard Lithium-Ion batteries and supplies it to the propulsion motors during periods of high energy demand. Energy is delivered directly to the drive train via a set of 120kW permanent-magnet motors, and the batteries are gradually recharged through regenerative braking. The I-SAM electric propulsion system thus reduces the workload on the diesel engine, resulting in better fuel economy and lower vehicular emissions.
Another unique feature of the bus is the Volvo AT2412E I-Shift semi-automatic transmission originally developed for trucks, where the bus executes manual gear changes automatically, without any input from the driver. The bus accelerates in ‘steps’ very similar to a manual transmission, but the optimized transmission keeps the acceleration smooth.
New requirements imposed by the LTA for new buses include an enhanced Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) comprising LED text displays, LCD display screens and interior speakers. In addition, an exterior-facing display screen and an external speaker is included. An Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), driver fatigue detection system, high-definition CCTV cameras, and passenger counters at entrance and exit doors of the bus are just some of the additional specifications required by LTA.
One chassis unit is housed at the Bus Technical Specialist Certification Centre (BTSCC), located at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot and used for technician training.
ComfortDelGro-owned Metroline operates Volvo B5LH double-deck buses in London. SBS Transit is also part of the ComfortDelGro group.
Check out Volvo B5LH – Chassis and Technical Overview for a technical coverage of the Volvo B5LH.
One completed unit for Singapore (Chassis Number YV3T1U221JA191117) was showcased at the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, Germany in September 2018.
A Volvo B5LH Chassis is housed at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot as part of the Bus Technical Specialist Certification Centre and used for technician training. It was exhibited at the Ulu Pandan Bus Depot Carnival.
Check out Volvo B5LH – Chassis and Technical Overview for more chassis pictures, with labelled components.
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External Links & References:
- Coach and Bus Week: Issue 1331
- Volvo Buses History – Volvo Buses [Accessed 04/11/17]
- Volvo 7900 Hybrid Brochure (PDF, 5MB)
- Volvo 7900 Hybrid Specification (PDF, 0.3MB)
- Volvo Hybrid Driveline (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Three Thousand Volvo Hybrid Buses Sold Till Now – Busworld Europe
- Breakthrough Order Of 50 Volvo Hybrid Buses to Singapore – Volvo Buses
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