Those having grown up in the more rural areas or outer districts of a town may remember the book buses. Volvo has given the concept of these mobile libraries new life as they launch two all-electric buses full of books in Gothenburg.
The idea came about two years ago when Gothenburg’s Municipal Library decided to electrify its mobile libraries from summer 2020. Finnish company Kiitikori designed the interiors of the two 7900 Electric buses, which include not only bookshelves but also meeting points for children and adults.
The buses are colourful and painted to “look like a fairy-tale forest” or a submarine/spaceship thanks to the illustrations from artist Alexander Jansson.
The buses are all over town throughout the day. In the mornings, the library on wheels visit pre-schools, in the afternoons and evenings, they drive to bus stops in different neighbourhoods around the city.
The buses are part of ‘The city where we read to our children’ initiative, which is part of Gothenburg’s equality work.
“The library’s whole idea is to conserve resources, and we wanted the most climate-smart alternative possible. With the new buses, we can also drive in zero-emission zones in parts of the city that we have not been able to before,” says Anette Eliasson who manages the libraries in Gothenburg.
For Bus driver Albin Berggren, the switch to electric buses means that he now has a much better working environment that is quiet and free of exhaust fumes.
“For me as a driver, it obviously feels very good that the buses run on electricity, not least when driving to places such as preschools and playgrounds,” he says.
To cultural administration in Gothenburg has chosen a turnkey solution so that Volvo Buses takes care of all maintenance for both vehicles and batteries for a fixed monthly cost. At night, the buses are washed, cleaned, serviced and charged in Volvo’s depot.