Having the only dedicated bus team in Australia, with more than 300 years of combined industry experience, is something Volvo Bus is very proud of and that has helped propel the company to where it is today in celebrating 5 decades in the Australian market and 11 consecutive years as the market leader in 2021.
Notable dedicated bus team staff include Ray Andrich and David Woodward who have been with VBA since 1992 and 1995, joining the business at the time as Regional Zone Sales Manager and Area Service Manager, respectively. To this day, Andrich, Regional Sales Manager and Woodward, National Competency Manager, have remained dedicated to their area of expertise and have become recognised as industry stalwarts – keeping the spirit and passion for the bus & coach industry alive and well.
It is the warm and willing nature of Andrich, Woodward and other dedicated members of the VBA team alike, that have fostered strong relationships with customers, dealers, and partners across the country, establishing VBA as a well-respected OEM, offering exceptional service and products.
Arguably one of the most notable products to date has been the Volvo B5L S-Charge. First released in 2013, this hybrid vehicle revolutionised the product direction of VBA in being the first in its electromobility range and delivering the first hybrid technology of its kind in South Australia.
By combining diesel and an electric battery, with energy that is captured through braking regeneration and the engine, the readily available B5L S-Charge delivers significant fuel savings as well as the ability to run in electric-only mode at bus stops, in depots and in defined zero-emission zones. This model also has the capacity to operate on up to 100% biofuel – all whilst producing a lower carbon footprint than many grid charged electric vehicles.
This hybrid technology has received a hugely positive reception amongst customers and marks just the beginning of VBA’s journey towards electromobility – with the much anticipated BZL electric chassis currently in development.
Due for release in 2022, VBA’s electromobility team, led by Dean Moule, Electromobility Product Manager, Asia Pacific Region, are working hard to ensure that the BZL chassis, a robust Swedish product, is properly adapted to the Australian market to best suit customer needs.
“As we look to our next 50 years in Australia, we are excited to further embark on our journey towards electromobility,” says Mitch Peden, General Manager Volvo Bus Australia.
“Our S-Charge product has already demonstrated great success and we are eager to see our awaited BZL revolutionise our product offering and electromobility efforts. Our BZL project has been a thorough and rigorous undertaking, but we are confident that with nearly a decade of electromobility experience, that this process is one that is worth waiting for and seeing through properly. Volvo has established itself as the electromobility expert across Europe and with our consistent and steady BZL development efforts locally, the sentiment is the same in Australia,” continues Peden.
“Investing in a BZL will be more than just buying an electric bus – it will mean investing in a quality, safe and reliable product that brings with it an unwavering partnership with the dedicated and passionate VBA team. As this technology continues to unfold our team will remain committed to facilitating and supporting our customers with the help of our suppliers and largest dealer network in Australia,” states Peden.
As Volvo Bus journeys towards another 50 years in Australia and continues its exciting new chapter in electromobility, its dedicated team will lead with their values of Quality, Safety and Environmental Care as they continue to provide unparalleled service and support to customers across the country.