“It’s been an exciting electromobility journey for us over the years and we are very happy to have handed over our first Volvo BZL Electric unit to the PTA,” says Mitch Peden, General Manager, Volvo Bus Australia.
“We’ve spent years planning, developing, testing and refining our electric chassis so that we could offer operators one of the safest, most responsive, and sustainable electric bus system in Australia.”
Throughout Volvo’s BZL Electric project, the company engaged in new and existing partnerships and took all the necessary steps to ensure the Volvo BZL Electric is of the highest quality, has the highest safety standards, and will last in the local environment in line with Australian standards and customer expectations.
“It really is a milestone for us in having the BZL Electric refined and ready for local body assembly this year,” continues Peden.
“What also makes this milestone so special for us, is that we’ve been able to deliver our first unit together with the team at Volgren, who fitted a sturdy Australian made Optimus body on our chassis. Volgren have been our trusted business partner since the late-70s and we’re thrilled to have our first four Volvo BZL Electric chassis units for the PTA fitted with Volgren bodies.”
Thiago Deiro, CEO of Volgren, said the first Optimus on a Volvo BZL Electric bus chassis delivered to the PTA marked a new era in a partnership with Volvo that spans more than 40 years.
"Our relationship with Volvo is one of the strongest and most productive in the Australian bus industry. It’s a proven combination that operators know and trust. It’s also a product that has built a reputation for reliability and excellence throughout the industry. We are confident that the fully electric version will only build on this reputation.”
“The Optimus-BZL combination is the first Australian manufactured body built on a European electric bus chassis. It’s the lightest electric bus in the market delivering operational savings for operators. It’s also the first full low-floor battery electric bus in Australia which equates to more space and greater seating capacity.”
Yuri Tessari, Chief Commercial Officer of Volgren said the first BEBs for the PTA were built at Volgren's Dandenong headquarters, but that all future PTA vehicles will be manufactured in Malaga, supporting local jobs and future-proofing the Perth bus network.
"We now have the ability to build the Optimus-BZL right here in Perth. The same can be said for our facilities in Brisbane and Melbourne, which are already manufacturing electric buses.
“With all three factories working together under our lean principles, we have the ability to build at scale and easily meet large orders. The bus is now available to order and we look forward to providing it to operators across Australia."
The first Volvo BZL Electric unit features a proven driveline adapted from Europe and the same trusted electrical system, suspension and pneumatic system as Volvo’s trusted B8RLE Euro 6 and B5LH hybrid products – features which are standard across this new model.
The BZL Electric chassis has a true low floor experience and is designed to ensure effortless operator serviceability and reliability, with lower servicing costs and increased uptime for a longer life on Australian roads.
The low floor design of the BZL Electric chassis paired with Volgren’s Optimus body, provides unrivalled passenger accessibility and space, greater passenger capacity and ultimate passenger comfort.
The Optimus body also has a lightweight design to deliver longer range as well as compliance with the highest levels of safety and flammability standards for buses in Australia to ensure passenger safety.
Sharing a similar vision and values, Volvo Bus Australia and Volgren look forward to continuing their e-bus partnership into the future, with the potential for this to facilitate more local jobs and apprenticeships to support Australian manufacturing.
Thiago added “Perth is a key part of our business and we'll continue to invest in the skills, equipment and manufacturing processes that allow us to build electric buses right here in Malaga.”
“The fact that the first Volvo-Volgren battery electric bus will go into service for our long-time partners the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia is an incredibly proud moment for us. We thank the PTA for continuing to place their trust in Volgren and Volvo and congratulate them on taking this important step towards sustainable transport,” said Thiago.
Mitch commented on this achievement for the PTA, stating that the first Optimus Volvo BZL Electric unit will be key to the future of public transport in Perth and that the Optimus Volvo BZL model will play a major role in Australia’s transition from diesel to electric.
“Having worked with the PTA for close to 12 years now alongside Volgren, it really is fantastic to see our first of four Optimus Volvo BZL Electric units commence operation in Perth. We are very grateful for the PTA providing us with the opportunity to evolve our partnership in the electromobility space with Volgren and applaud the forward-thinking of PTA on their efforts to provide high quality and safe zero-emission transport for Perth,” said Peden.