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Bus Stop begins local partnership for ZEBs

After releasing Australia’s first high-floor fully electric coach, Bus Stop Sales continues to import new King Long models. Under a new partnership with Volgren Australia, Bus Stop is further enhancing its zero-emissions buses in the lead-up to October’s Bus & Coach Expo.

There are great things happening at Bus Stop Sales, with the bus and coach dealer continuing to add zero-emissions buses to its evolving sustainable range.

The exclusive distributor of King Long buses and coaches has announced it is bringing two more King Long vehicles into its fold. The two new arrivals for Bus Stop include a completely new King Long electric urban bus chassis and a new and locally manufactured bus package from Bus Stop.

The new model comes courtesy of a gamechanging new body partnership between Bus Stop and Australian body builder Volgren Australia. Bus Stop Sales managing director Pete White says the new arrivals and the Volgren partnership is incredibly exciting.

“The opportunity with Volgren to be selected as a partner is an honour for us – it helps us position our products alongside a respected local manufacturer,” White told ABC.

“We’re very excited to release a product like the new chassis at a high-quality level, which is market-leading. With it being Australian built and a local content product, the chassis is something we believe will deliver an excellent solution to operators.”

Under the new arrangement, Bus Stop and Volgren will look to provide Australian operators with both excellent value and local support.

White says Volgren Australia’s local content and jobs program were key drivers in Bus Stop choosing Volgren as a launch partner.

The electric King Long urban chassis and the new model join an increasingly impressive suite of zero-emissions offerings at Bus Stop. These two products complement Australia’s only high floor fully electric coach in the 12.5-metre-long EVolution model and the fully electric mini bus 12–14 seat Joylong.

The electric urban bus chassis is King Long’s first chassis released onto the Australian market. White says King Long’s size and scale as a group makes it one of the world’s biggest bus manufacturers and allows Bus Stop to fast track the revolutionary new chassis. For White, it’s a partnership that has been years in the making for his family.

“My father, Dick White, contributed significantly to the development and refinement of King Long products to be customised to meet the needs of Australian operators,” White says.

“Fortunately King Long has been an excellent partner to meet the needs of Australian bus operators with a product that is being developed purely for the Australian market.”

Despite King Long being a well-known brand in Australia for many years, White says the manufacturer is only just starting to come to life following Bus Stop’s investment and customisation. He plans to expand Bus Stop’s wide range of diesel and electric buses to increase solutions for Australian customers.

“We strive to provide end-to-end customer options in both diesel and zero-emissions markets that meet customers’ needs,” White says.

“We will become a one-stop bus shop.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Bus Stop unveils new high floor electric coach model

King Long’s latest electric bus chassis is the start of the manufacturer diversifying its range to target the urban bus segment. White says the choice to package together a Chinese-assembled chassis bringing together leading global components with excellent quality control systems provides an enticing alternative for fleet owners.

This quality took time and effort for Bus Stop Sales to obtain on its new releases. White says each component selected was required to offer global warranties managed end-to-end through Bus Stop from suppliers such as ZF, DANA, VDO (Bus Stop’s global partnership with King Long, ZF, Michelin Tyre, Alcoa alloys and WABCO), CATL and WABCO.

While the Evolution low floor chassis is part of a new generation of Chinese products to hit Bus Stop, White remains intent on enhancing this range with more quality.

“The build quality is very impressive, the package is well-priced and the product is fully supported,” White says.

“All of this is crucial for the long-term success of the product and brand.

“We have sold buses within my family for more than 50 consecutive years and this range will help us continue to be here for the long haul.”

White says both the EVolution chassis and the Horizon Volgren urban bus will be showcased at the upcoming Australasian Bus & Coach Expo. With local manufacturing content being an important part of the procurement process for many operators, White wants to appeal to fleet owners with Bus Stop’s latest models.

When looking at the recent trend of urban buses having an imported European chassis, White says this soon won’t be the case as leading solutions continue to emerge out of China.

The Bus Stop director says China is already far beyond zero-emissions bus trials. The country’s early adoption of electric buses means China has already deployed 98 per cent of all electric buses in the world after years of testing, development and operational experience.

It’s this experience and technology that has White excited about King Long’s upcoming releases.

“The King Long solutions released utilise a DANA permanent magnet synchronous drive motor that is fully supported here in Australia,” White says. “It also has global leading CATL batteries in both 350kW and 422kW options, fitted with the King Long fire limitation safety system within the batteries.”

White says the DANA drive motor is expected to have a 1.4-million-kilometre life before rebuild.

“We’re so excited to release these high-quality products under new partnerships,” White says. “It’s such a busy yet thrilling time for us and we want to continue changing the game in the Australian market for years to come.”

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