Understand how Marcopolo is boosting sustainable mobility and how this can positively impact your company?
Sustainability is not a new challenge for urban mobility. In 2017, the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) brought together authorities from over 200 countries precisely to discuss sustainable mobility.
Some countries are already well advanced in decarbonizing transport. In Germany, for example, there was a vote that banned internal combustion vehicles in the country. In addition, the forecast is to exclusively adopt electric motors by 2030.
Brazil, however, still faces some challenges. Data from Sistema de Estimativas de Emissões e Remoções de Gases de Efeito Estufa [Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Removal Estimating System] (SEEG) for 2016 indicates a 4% increase in gasoline consumption in light vehicles. Ethanol, in turn, fell 10% compared to the previous year. In addition, total CO² emissions from freight and passenger transport systems have increased by almost 40% in the last ten years.
Marcopolo is doing its part to boost sustainable mobility in Brazil, with the implementation of electric and hybrid buses. Learn more about this initiative below:
(h2) What is sustainable mobility?
First, it is necessary to understand more about this topic. Mobility has always been a major challenge for contemporary cities. The option for the automobile in the 20th century served as an efficient response to the need for circulation. However, it had a number of consequences for modern life. Traffic kilometers, environmental problems and wasted fuel are factors that led government administrations to look for new alternatives.
As a result, the concept of sustainable mobility arises. Environmental protection and economic sustainability exert a great influence on the planning process, with alternatives that promote easy and low-polluting circulation. For example, the use of “clean” buses, modern trams (VLT) and light tire vehicles (VLP).
(h2) Electric and hybrid vehicles
Marcopolo sees a great opportunity in electric models to develop public transport. Therefore, it continues to invest in electric and hybrid vehicles to contribute to sustainable mobility:
• Electric vehicle: Type of vehicle powered by electric motors. They differ from usual vehicles in that they use an electric propulsion system and the traditional form of propulsion. This vehicle uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable batteries, which is converted into electrical energy. This, in turn, feeds a motor that will convert it into mechanical energy. This allows the vehicle to move.
• Hybrid vehicle: Uses two different power sources in order to produce energy and movement. As a general criterion, the hybrid vehicle is composed of an internal combustion motor and an electric one.
These two models have some characteristics in common, such as sustainable propulsion.
“Propulsion is everything that makes the vehicle move”, Renato Machado Florence explains, Marcopolo’s Planning and Development Manager. “Sustainable propulsion refers to the primary source of that energy. Electric and hybrid vehicles have a very clean energy matrix, with renewable fuels in their life cycle”.
Adopting these models offers a series of benefits to society. They emit less pollutants and less noise. In addition, they have lower usage and operating costs. There is no need for frequent motor maintenance with oil changes.
João Gabriel Magnabosco, Marcopolo’s Engineering manager, talks about this favorable moment for testing. “Urban public transport presents advantages to introduce buses with electric propulsion as it operates using a ‘start and stop’ system. With an easier and more frequent charging system, it is possible to equip them with enough batteries without taking up too much space or making the vehicle heavy”, he says.
(h2) Marcopolo boosts sustainable mobility with electric and hybrid buses
Marcopolo has always been concerned about the legacy it leaves behind for cities and the population. The company constantly invests in vehicles with sustainable propulsion — such as the first 100% electric VLP in Brazil in São José dos Campos (SP), in partnership with BYD, and the first electric-powered road bus in the southern region.
The company sees a great opportunity in electric models to develop public transport. After all, there is great potential for adopting these buses in large cities, especially vehicles operating using opportunity charger systems – which allows batteries to be quickly charged at defined points along the routes.
With sustainable mobility opportunities in mind, Marcopolo Next, Marcopolo’s innovation division, announced, along with the Department of Traffic, Transport and Mobility of Caxias do Sul (RS), implementing the Caxias Mobility Lab. This will be a pilot project for the implementation of an electric bus integrated to the charging infrastructure and monitored 24 hours a day. The system is in the test and validation phase, which must be completed in the first half of 2021.
Renato Machado Florence explains Marcopolo’s expectations with this test: “We want to observe the vehicle’s behavior and compare its performance with a diesel-powered one. This includes many aspects, from operating costs to the user’s impression of comfort, noise and pollution”. The executive also stated that Marcopolo seeks excellent service and understands that this model can offer better conditions to society as a whole.
(h2) Next steps
“This is the first exercise that Marcopolo has promoted to develop this business model”, Renato says. “The next steps involve expanding this knowledge and offering customers a solution based on practical tests and for conditions in Brazil.”