With a population of 267 million, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populated country. The public transport system is expanding and the demand for safer, more comfortable and reliable buses is increasing.
When Volvo Buses launched the Volvo B8RLE last year, the opportunities to take part in upcoming tenders in Indonesia increased significantly. The Volvo B8RLE is specially designed for city transportation with low entry and high passenger capacity, ideal for quick entry and exit, easily accessible for disabled and elderly people. It is equipped with Volvo’s electronic braking system, disc brake, door brake system, kneel brake, and air suspension. The bus can also be specified with I-Coaching, a connected service that gives instant feedback on driving performance and helps the driver to drive more safely, fuel efficiently and comfortably.
“Improving safety in public transport is a high priority for the Indonesian government. With the B8RLE we bring important features to the market that will help improve safety, quality and uptime,” says Himawan Kunto Dewoto, Country Director of Volvo Buses Indonesia.
It is one of the reasons why Volvo Buses, together with the body builder CV Laksana, has built a lighter, stronger and more durable bus frame using stainless steel. This model will be the first ever city bus in Indonesia with a stainless-steel structure. “Some of the benefits of a lower total weight are that the bus will become more fuel-efficient and able to take more passengers,” says Himawan Kunto Dewoto.
Like many other major cities, Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is facing the challenges of congestion and an increasing number of passenger cars. Himawan Kunto Dewoto believes that in the long run, Volvo Buses can make more people choose to go by bus rather than driving by car or motorcycle.
“The Indonesian government is paying more and more attention to improve the public transport system. By offering safer and more comfortable buses, the government is trying to change people’s opinion on public transport, with the end goal of to reducing the total volume of cars and therefore, reduced congestion,” he says.
Improving safety in public transport is a high priority for the Indonesian government. With the B8RLE we bring important features to the market that will help improve safety, quality and uptime.
Early February, Volvo Buses arranged a three-day test drive in Surakarta (Solo) City in the central of Java Island. The aim was to showcase the features and performance of the Volvo B8RLE and to give the participants an opportunity to ride, drive and learn more about its benefits. Among the participants were representatives from the central and local government, city stakeholders and operators.
“We got a lot of positive feedback, not only on the braking system, the engine power, the stability, the noise level and the passenger comfort, but also on the benefits of connectivity and I-coaching,” says Himawan Kunto Dewoto.
Currently, Volvo Buses population in Indonesia is approximately 300 buses, with 119 units of B11R operating in Jakarta’s BRT system. The Volvo B8RLE is designed to operate in feeder lines to BRT systems. Himawan Kunto Dewoto sees great potential for BR8LE in Indonesia.
The next step for Volvo Buses is to arrange test drives in other cities and participate in upcoming tenders in Indonesia.
“Our ambition is to contribute to the development of the public transport system and add value to the society. The Volvo B8RLE is a very good model with advanced technology that brings a lot of benefits and can do just that,” he says.
THE VOLVO B8RLE IN SHORT
The Volvo B8RLE is designed to meet high demands on driving properties, comfort and safety. The engine is the Volvo D8, Volvo’s own 8-litre common rail diesel producing 330hp and up to 1,200 Nm of torque. The standard equipment includes features such as Volvo’s electronic brake system, disc brake, door brake system, kneel brake and air suspension.
It can also be specified with I-coaching, a system that helps the driver drive more safely and fuel-efficiently by providing immediate feedback. The chassis for the Indonesian market is built in the Volvo Buses factory in Borås, Sweden, and then sent for bodybuilding locally in Indonesia.