BLK Auto has rapidly expanded its catalogue to include buses and coaches in many sectors. It’ll now take its latest technology and evolve it further in 2023.
Releases in many different bus and coach spaces has created a versatile fleet offering for BLK Auto. After building and designing buses for Australia’s unique conditions, BLK Auto is continuing to turn its eye towards tailoring new vehicles to the local market.
This includes ensuring its diverse range can fit specifications required for the Transport for New South Wales Bus Procurement Panel 4.
“With the Panel 4 and for other New South Wales services, we’re pushing our Senator and President range vehicles,” BLK Auto managing director Jason Pecotic told ABC. “These two vehicles will ideally suit school bus and charter work.”
The President and Senator ranges pushing for NSW Panel 4 approval includes the Senator and President bodies that are fitted on top of MAN chassis.
BLK Auto has had a busy year diversifying its Australian range. In the bodies and chassis sector, its Cooper DX joins the Senator 8 and 9 models, as well as the President 2, 3 and 10 options for two and three axle coaches. When it comes to city options, the Citystar ultra low floor and Citystar ultra low floor combo also lead the way for BLK Auto.
The President body in the two or three axle option also joins the Citystar ultra low floor as bodies only that can be fitted onto chassis for operators. In the chassis only sector, BLK Auto’s foray into battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell President 2 and 3 coach options has been a hit. The brand also offers battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell versions of the Citystar ultra low floor chassis to market.
Pecotic says this range summarises the key products that BLK Auto can offer the Australian market.
“Our range is diverse and hopefully caters to all operators in Australia,” Pecotic says. “We’re coming to market with a deep catalogue of vehicles for all applications, whether it be matching bodies with European chassis or mating our battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell chassis to support local content.”
Pecotic says BLK’s zero-emissions range is quickly coming to the fore. BLK Auto now has both a hydrogen fuel cell chassis and a battery electric chassis that it has supplied to bodybuilder Volgren in a combined package. Pecotic says he’ll also be pushing for these zero-emissions buses to be servicing in New South Wales.
These zero-emissions options prove BLK Auto’s future is in new energy buses and coaches. With the product range evolving rapidly in the past 18 months, Pecotic will continue providing a variety of fuel source options for the local market. He says partnering with local companies is a key target for 2023 and beyond.
“The vehicles, whether they be coaches or school buses, are Australian designed products,” Pecotic says. “They offer a competitively priced option with all the components and functions that are required in Australia.
“Supporting local employment in Australia is important to us. We want to continue supporting local jobs and seeing the money stay in Australia.”
By continuing to combine with companies like Volgren, as well as Cummins and Allison, Pecotic says BLK Auto is focusing on Australia.
The BLK Auto managing director has a message for the local market about what the brand plans to become as it continues to charge into 2023.
“I want the industry to see BLK Auto as a diverse supplier of a full bus range,” Pecotic says. “This includes chassis, completely-built vehicles (CBU), coaches or city buses.”
What to look forward to in 2023
BLK Auto’s immediate focus turns towards New South Wales, as the brand wants to be approved by Transport for NSW’s Panel 4 to provide its buses to operators in both Sydney and NSW.
“Next year we hope to supply our buses and coaches to Sydney and further NSW operators – it’s our big focus,” Pecotic told ABC. “We want Panel 4 approval so we can supply these buses, specifically our electric and hydrogen fuel cell chassis, as they’re exciting products.”
Although BLK Auto has made a concerted effort to expand its zero-emissions range, Pecotic is adamant the brand will continue supplying all fuel sources when it comes to its catalogue of products. Whether it be the trusted coaches that BLK Auto has supplied Australia for years or the new energy models that are continuing to expand locally, Pecotic says the brand will grow both sides of its fleet range.
“We’re maintaining both our diesel and our zero-emissions sides as we expect the zero-emissions bus space to continue evolving,” Pecotic says. “We’re well placed to position ourselves strongly for the transition from diesel to only zero-emissions chassis.
“We will still maintain our diesel fleet requirements for the market while we progressively move towards the supply of zero-emissions buses as the market requires.”
Check out BLK Auto’s product specifications here.