Volvo Bus has launched its new  BZL Electric chassis via a live global webcast on Monday night (27 Sept.), with Volvo Bus Australia hosting a simultaneous launch event at Volvo HQ in Brisbane. 

The virtual launch launch was webcast across the globe and was kicked off by the president of Volvo Bus Corporation, Anna Westerberg, with the video featuring segments from Volvo Bus markets around the world including Australia, the United Kingdom and Mexico  along with presentations by  key Volvo Bus Australia personnel, including  general manager Mitch Peden, and electromobility product director, for Volvo Bus Asia Pacific, Dean Moule.

Centre piece of the event in Brisbane was the newly completed Volvo BZL Electric chassis fitted with a Volgren Optimus body, where it was viewed by key Queensland based customers, partners and other industry stakeholders along with VBA’s bus team.

The next stop on the Volvo BZL Electric will be its official handover to the Western Australian Public Transport Authority (PTA), which will be the first customer in Australia to operating the Volvo BZL. Thankfully the bus will be allowed to cross state borders!

Western Australian minister for transport, the Rita Saffioti, was part of the launch on Monday night, acknowledging the important step towards delivering electromobility to Australian operators and passengers.

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

“Our electromobility 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,” said Peden.

“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,”  he added.

Volvo says its BZL Electric chassis is available sizes from 9.9 to 12.5 metres, and features a proven driveline adapted from Europe, combined with the same electrical system, suspension and pneumatic system as Volvo’s B8RLE Euro 6 and B5LH hybrid products.

The company adds that internally, the bus features a full low-floor layout  which mean no steps in the aisle of the bus, providing ‘unrivalled accessibility and comfort to passengers’.

The Volvo 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 – ensuring that buses are back in service more often and on the road where they should be.

“From an operator perspective, the 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 said.

“The 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,” Peden concluded.