Volvo Buses wants to bring the good results of its experiences in Europe with electromobility solutions and is now expanding its global reach to the Latin American market by testing the Volvo 7900 electric bus in Mexico City, with tests on line 4 of the Metrobús system.
The all-electric unit is 12 meters long, features Volvo Buses’ signature technology and mitigates emissions and noise, contributing to the development of a more sustainable city. “Electromobility is not just for the future, it is here today. Demands and ambitions to reduce or minimize emissions and noise are rapidly driving this development. Now we are happy that Mexico City is joining many other cities around the world to test and then hopefully move to electrified public transport” says Anna Westerberg, President of Volvo Buses.
Volvo Buses has been present in Mexico for more than 20 years and continues to provide the most innovative solutions in sustainable mobility in the country. The goal is to deliver its electromobility technology in line with the Zero City concept, with the ambition of zero emissions, zero congestion, zero accidents and zero noise. Volvo Buses is an experienced and trusted partner for the implementation of urban electromobility solutions and systems, with a successful track record in various cities around the world over the last ten years.
The Volvo 7900 electric bus being tested in Mexico City runs on a 330 kW battery and is configured for overnight charging. The unit has a low floor, providing easy access for passengers and more efficient operation. It also has universal access for people with disabilities, with space for a wheelchair and guide dog. The bus will be subjected to the most demanding tests in real operation for six months.
Committed to the global challenge of minimizing the environmental impacts caused by the emission of polluting gases, Marcopolo reinforces its performance in the production of sustainable vehicles. The company produced the first 100% electric pneumatic light vehicle (VLP) in Brazil, in partnership with BYD, and has already supplied around 370 electric and hybrid units to various countries, including Argentina, Australia and India, with 75 vehicles in circulation in Brazilian Territory.
Marcopolo’s body design is called Attivi Express. The model was produced exclusively for articulated chassis with 100% electric propulsion. The bus is 22 meters long. And it has lithium iron phosphate (LifePO4) batteries. Thus, its autonomy is around 250 km with a full charge of three hours.
It has capacity for 168 passengers, in addition to spaces for wheelchair users. The VLPs have upholstered armchairs with individual headrests and USB ports, ceiling monitors, radio, and speakers. The exterior lighting has full led headlights. In this way, maximum light efficiency is guaranteed.
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a commitment of the countries, signed in the Paris Agreement, and reinforced by the US President, Joe Biden, last week at the Climate Summit, with the participation of 40 nations. At the meeting, commitments were reinforced with measures that will help prevent the planet’s temperature from rising above 1.5 °C in one hundred years.
Faced with this scenario, Marcopolo continues in the search for clean energy technologies that help curb global warming. The company’s expectation is that another 400 units will be in circulation in Latin America by 2022.
Ecuador is one of the few countries in Latin America that still has a local auto body industry and that, for many years, its transporters have been served by the supply of national builders. However, in recent years, it has been seen how the transporters of the Andean nation have been more open to the incorporation of foreign buses, mainly from Brazil, China, Peru and Colombia.
A bodywork industry where great care is put into the interior finishes, although it has also been considered one of the paradises of copies, based on several of the best-selling models from all over the continent. An issue that is even already in legal proceedings, that was seen to come and that is also both a warning bell, and the opportunity for Ecuadorian builders to start, once and for all, the development of totally original creations, making the most of the potential of your industry.
Miral Autobuses, based in Ambato, is one of those few builders that shies away from copies, collecting what is set by world trends, customer feedback and market experiences.
With these bases, Miral began in 2019 the development of a luxury double-decker bus, suitable for the main 6X2 rear-engine chassis available in Latin America. A few weeks ago, it became a pioneer in Ecuador presenting its model for this road segment, marking a milestone with the new IM9DD, at the height of the most used in this region and seeking international expansion.
A launch for all of Latin America where Cooperativa San Cristóbal, which in December 2021 will celebrate 50 years of history, became the first client of IM9DD. The Tulcán company, on the border with Colombia, has recently carried out an important renewal of its fleet with which it crosses the country reaching Huaquillas, on the border with Peru.
STYLE AND DISTINCTION
In its exterior appearance, the Miral IM9DD has a mix of styles from other buses in the region, with its front with elongated trapezoidal lamps and round LED fog light units, the elements that give it its identity, along with the large external rear-view mirrors advanced. On the sides, the almost square wheel arches and the low angle of the second-level panorama give it a robust appearance.
The windows of the second level are integrated with those of the first, by means of curved side windows in the driver’s area and straight ones in the passenger area with a black glass. At the rear, the grille identifies features seen in other double-decker buses, especially the Colombian ones. A careful exterior finish allows achieving sobriety without losing appeal.
AN OASIS FOR THE TRAVELER
If the exterior looks sober, the interior immediately conveys distinction and luxury. Light gray plastic pieces and dark-toned seats combine with LED lighting for the driver and passenger areas, as well as chromatherapy. Very attractive material details and soft touch buttons for the reading lights and air conditioning vents are present on the roof rack.
Semi-bed seats, inspired by European coaches, but with greater width and thicker backrest, include calf supports combining black, gray and red stitching. Reclining up to 150 degrees, they feature memory gel technology, all equipped with three-point retractable seat belts, power outlets and individual entertainment screens.
A provision of 16 seats on the first level where the toilet is and 48 on the second, maintaining the same services for travelers on each floor, in accordance with the specification of Cooperativa San Cristóbal.
A LUXURIOUS AND MODERN OFFICE
A leather-trimmed millaré presides over the instrument cluster and brings it to a higher level where all controls are easily accessible to reduce distraction for the driver, whose seat is air-suspended and adjusts to his weight. Cabin ventilation and lighting functions are centralized in the Multiplex panel, the operator’s bedroom is also very comfortable, equipped with an audio, video and air conditioning system.
It is worth highlighting the inclusion of the ADAS active safety package and its three systems: adaptive cruise control to regulate speed and distance, automatic emergency braking and warning of involuntary lane departure; all of them act without the driver’s intervention, with sensors that capture the information to make decisions autonomously.
As if that were not enough, Miral’s IM9DD becomes one of the first Latin American buses to equip the camera system with high-resolution video monitors, so that drivers have optimal visibility, better calculate maneuvers and eliminate blind spots. They can be combined with traditional electrically adjustable exterior mirrors.
It should be noted that Miral Autobuses ensures the supply of components such as cabin thermoforming, toilets, seats, cameras and the interface to operate the entertainment screens, among others, specifically developed by its subsidiary Miviltech.
The project was defined at the end of 2019, the first chassis arrived in May 2020 at the bus plant, with a production process that was resumed after overcoming the mandatory confinement restrictions. At the premiere of Cooperativa San Cristóbal, it is expected that it will soon become an International Pan-American famous for its routes between Ecuador and Venezuela.
The bus released by Cooperativa San Cristóbal is valued at $350,000, considering equipment such as inflight entertainment and driver assistance systems. There are multiple options for toilets, refrigerators, colors, connectivity elements, seats and other accessories for transporters to configure the bus of their dreams.
A model that should motivate other Ecuadorian builders to exploit their potential, integrating engineering and industrial design, to bring transport solutions out of the natural market. Miral Autobuses took the step with an attractive bus in tune with the most popular models of the segment in the region, and it will be in the fight, because it is not lacking in arguments to compete.
QEV Technologies, a Spanish company from Barcelona dedicated to engineering specialized in electric mobility, competition, commercial and luxury vehicles, has partnered with Geotab, a world leader in connected mobility, fleet management and electrification systems, to meet your needs for telematics. QEV Technologies seeks to transfer the technology and experience developed on the racing tracks to the roads, through commercial and luxury vehicles.
This alliance allows it to offer its clients the latest technology in fleet management, telematics and Geotab connectivity, combined with the experience in data analysis and vehicle management on the circuits that QEV Technologies carries out on a daily basis.
QEVTech Bus is QEV Technologies’ division for urban mobility solutions around the world. Its product range ranges from electrical kits, which can be used for conversions, to chassis of different sizes and complete vehicles with various applications. In 2017, QEVTech Bus obtained funding from the European Investment Bank for its conversion kits; In 2019, QEVTech Bus presented in Manila (Philippines), the COMET, a fully electric urban bus with capacity for 30 passengers and its most noticeable development that has had an impact in Latin America was in 2020 with the Modasa E-Titan, the first electric bus developed in Peru.
Geotab, also a Spanish world leader in connected mobility and fleet electrification, provides an open platform of fleet management solutions for companies of any size around the world. Geotab’s comprehensive and intuitive solutions help QEV Technologies customers better manage their fleet by obtaining accurate information from real-time and historical vehicle data.
Through the processing of 40,000 million data points from more than 2.2 million vehicles around the world, Geotab provides key business intelligence for companies to make decisions based on data that improve their safety, productivity, efficiency, sustainability, and much more.
Together with Geotab, QEV Technologies works to become a leader in energy transition and sustainability, the fundamental principles for which QEV Technologies was created. Geotab securely connects vehicles to the internet, providing advanced analytics for fleet management. The open platform and the Marketplace allow small, medium and large companies to automate processes by integrating vehicle data with other company data.