As if having one of the most efficient transport networks in the world wasn’t enough, Swedish commuters have been getting treated to live performances by some of their biggest artists.
The Grammy Award-winning Seinabo Sey, who has had over 100 million plays on Spotify, and Zara Larsson, who won on the nation's favourite talent show Talang as a child, both played their impromptu acoustic sets on the new electric bus route in Gothenburg, the town where Volvo quietly dreamed up the ElectriCity campaign.
A collaborative project between academics, industry and the public sector aimed at developing new sustainable public transport systems for the future, the result is the electric bus route – silent, emission-free public transport can operate in places where traffic is currently banned.
The Silent Bus Sessions was produced to demonstrate how silent the new electric buses are – the noise level is so low that acoustic concerts and video recordings can be made, as the million hits on YouTube of the gigs stand testament to.
‘With this campaign, we have been able to reach the general public and communicate one of the benefits of electric buses – the silence on board. The music videos have received a lot of attention, especially on social media. It is great to see that the interest for sustainable public transport is so big’, said Niklas Gustafsson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Volvo Group.
As well as three completely electric buses, the route has seven electric hybrid buses that run on electricity for the majority of the route. They run on batteries that are quickly recharged with renewable electricity at the terminal bus stops. And just in case a superstar pops up to give an exclusive performance, passengers have access to onboard wi-fi and phone charging facilities to make sure they don’t miss a beat. Music fans are promised more acts to follow.
Whether Volvo unveils a similar line in the UK remains to be seen, but admits "this opens up new possibilities for urban planning in towns and cities". We’ll probably have to provide our own entertainment, though….
Find out more at ElectriCity.