BLK Auto has announced it has entered into a commercial agreement with Australian bus body builder Express Coach Builders, which will usher in a range of zero emission battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell powered buses co-engineered by the BLK and Express design teams.
BLK Auto, said it has established the alliance with Express, as the demand for zero emission buses ramps up in Australia with government and private bus operators starting to switch buying criteria to zero emission.
The company says it will provide dedicated battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell powered chassis, with Express designing and building specialised bodies, engineered to suit the zero emission chassis at its manufacturing facility on the mid-north coast of NSW.
According to BLK Auto Managing Director, Jason Pecotic, the collaboration with Express will be a win-win for the two companies as well as for bus operators in Australia.
“We are very pleased to align with Express to deliver clean, green, emission free buses tailored for Australian operations and using a dedicated battery or fuel cell powered BLK chassis, designed from the start as a zero emission vehicle, not adapted from a diesel design,” Mr. Pecotic says.
“Dale Hancox and his team at Express have tremendous capabilities that will deliver the highest quality standard, locally built, zero emission buses to meet the increasing demand from the bus market.”
“Express has impressed with the standard of its engineering and quality workmanship and we are very pleased to be working with them to deliver the best electric buses for the Australian market,” Mr Pecotic says.
Express general manager, Dale Hancox says the alliance with BLK is an exciting opportunity for the company to diversify and deliver the latest technology zero emission options alongside traditional diesel bus solutions.
“This will enable us to offer the latest technology clean buses to a market that is seeking solutions in a rapidly changing public transport sector, while still meeting demand for traditional diesel buses and coaches,” Dale Hancox says.
“We are not forgetting our alliances with other chassis makers but forging a new relationship with a chassis manufacturer that brings established green credentials,” says Mr. Hancox.
Mr. Hancox says Express will receive the first BLK battery electric chassis in the coming weeks and expects to have a full built zero emission vehicle ready to hit the road before the end of the year.
BLK will soon start delivering a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses which will arrive as CBU (Completely Built Up) vehicles for operation in the Pilbara region of WA . These will use a similar Hyzon FCEV driveline to the bus chassis that Express will build bodies on in Australia.
BLK Auto and Express plan to offer Hydrogen FCEV buses to the market from early 2022.