VOLVO 'BZL' ELECTRIC BUS CHASSIS LAUNCHED

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Volvo Bus Australia


NINETY PER CENT full bus 'recycle-ability' and a 20-year battery 'energy guarantee' were key highlights of the long-awaited launch of the new low-floor Volvo BZL city e-bus chassis, held virtually from Volvo Group Australia (VGA) headquarters in Wacol, Brisbane, Queensland last night.

VOLVO 'BZL' ELECTRIC BUS CHASSIS LAUNCHED
“After five years of extensive planning, development and testing, VBA was very proud to see the Volvo BZL electric chassis officially launch globally,” said Peden.

Prior to an initial four units being handed over to its first Australian customer - Western Australia's Public Transport Authority (PTA) - Volvo Bus Corporation officially launched its new BZL electric bus chassis to a global online audience and key Brisbane-based customers, partners and other industry stakeholders.

Following a "warm Swedish welcome and introduction" from new Volvo Bus Corporation president Anna Westerberg, Volvo Bus Australia general manager Mitch Peden continued proceedings, outlining Volvo's holistic view of battery management and the company's ability to provide a, "...fantastic and quality assured process around material sourcing, delivery of batteries, second life and third life plans when we can really provide a cradle to grave quality-assured business model for your business as we go forward."

On display was a completed Volvo BZL electric bus chassis with a Volgren Optimus body, where it was able to be viewed up close in person by event attendees, including members of Volvo’s ‘dedicated bus team’.

Video segments from global Volvo Bus markets including Australia, the United Kingdom and Mexico – as well as from key personnel including Peden and Volvo Bus Asia Pacific Region’s Electromobility product director Dean Moule – highlighted many market advantages the BZL offers operators, in what must be said is now a competitively expanding local zero-emissions bus space.

"After five years of extensive planning, development and testing, VBA was very proud to see the Volvo BZL electric chassis officially launch globally," said Peden.

"Our electro-mobility projects have been ongoing for more than a decade, and we are thrilled to have launched such an innovative product that offers our cleanest, safest and most sustainable technology to date for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

"We take pride in the fact that we have worked consistently to develop and refine the Volvo BZL electric chassis, ensuring we were taking the appropriate steps in setting up long-term partnerships within the e-mobility space and working on developing specialised training, before officially launching this product – making sure that the Volvo BZL electric offers the highest quality and safety standards, and ensuring the product will last in line with operator expectations in the Australian environment," Peden explained.

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THE CHASSIS

The Volvo BZL electric chassis is available in lengths from 9.9 to 12.5 metres, and features a proven driveline adapted from Europe, combined with the same trusted electrical system, suspension and pneumatic system as Volvo’s beloved B8RLE Euro 6 and B5LH hybrid products, the company explains.

Internally, the bus features a full low-floor layout meaning no steps in the aisle of the vehicle, providing unrivalled accessibility and comfort to passengers, Volvo states.

The BZL chassis has also been designed to ensure optimum and effortless accessibility and serviceability, in taking less time to service the chassis and costing less to do so, the company adds – ensuring that buses are back in service more often and on the road where they should be, it explains.

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"From an operator perspective, the Volvo BZL electric chassis offers the complete package, with unparalleled serviceability, quality and reliability – with our dedicated bus team and largest dealer network in Australia committed to supporting customers as they transition the Volvo BZL electric at each and every stage of their journey," Peden confirmed.

"The Volvo BZL electric has been developed in line with stringent European and Australian standards and align with what our Australian and New Zealand customers need and expect from an electric product in terms of quality and safety. It really is a chassis designed for the long-haul," concluded Peden.

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FIRST CUSTOMER

An official handover to the Western Australia Public Transport Authority (PTA) will ensue towards end 2021, Volvo Bus confirms.

WA’s Minister for Transport, the Honourable Rita Saffioti MLA, was part of the virtual launch, acknowledging this important next step towards delivering electro-mobility to Australian customers.

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