Having generated widescale interest and with an order already placed by Go-Ahead for their Docklands Buses operation, the new specifically designed two–door vehicle is expected to significantly increase Volvo’s presence in London over the next few years.
“This is very much a long term commitment,” explained Volvo Bus Sales Director, Phil Owen, “we don’t expect large scale sales to happen overnight, but the new vehicle will be competitively priced and we’re looking at gradually building our presence over time, as the London operators review their fleet options”.
Specified with 63 seats plus driver the vehicle also has room for a further 19 standees. It is fitted with internal CCTV cameras and has an in-built wheelchair access ramp with operational lights. The vehicle also has both internal and external LED lights as standard. Whilst full size window bays at the rear of both saloons improve visibility.
Volvo’s low floor 10.3-metre B9TL is specified with a rigid low beam front axle. The bus is powered by a rear mounted Volvo D9B engine, which is rated at 260hp or 310hp dependent upon operator requirements. Available to meet Euro 5 incentive, the vehicle also has EEV available as an option. Fitted with the ZF Ecolife gearbox as standard the new bus also has the Voith D864.5 gearbox as an option.
With strict guidelines to meet in order to comply with the latest Transport for London (TfL) requirements, Volvo and MCV went through meticulous testing and prototyping to ensure the new vehicle met all current standards, included in this was the achievement of exacting unladen weight requirement to meet the UK CoIF standard.
The new vehicle is also the first diesel double deck bus with a passenger weight of 68kg to achieve a 28° tilt during testing.
Key to the development of the new vehicle was former TfL employee Mike Winter, now UK Commercial Director at MCV UK. “As part of the development process we have made sure to comply with EC Regulation 107, which is more stringent, but strategically places us well in the long-term,” he explained.
MCV UK Managing Director, Ashraf Fawze, who was also present at the launch event in Warwick, was keen to pay tribute to all the hardwork over the last few years in bringing the Volvo B9TL MCV double deck bus to launch “We began this journey in early 2008 and there has been many hurdles, but we are delighted with the completed product and look forward to placing it into production”.
Working out of their state-of-the-art facility in Salheya, Egypt and employing over 2,500 trained technicians, MCV exports 60% of its production and has an internationally proven track record. The company currently has the capacity to produce 3,200 buses per year, a figure it can increase significantly. The chassis is to be supplied from Volvo’s plant in Borås, Sweden and bodied at the MCV plant in Egypt, before being shipped to the UK ready for PDI.
Initially developed for the specific requirements of TfL a provincial version is expected to be available during 2012.
10 May 2011
Caption for image: The new TfL specified Volvo B9TL double deck bus was officially launched at Volvo Bus headquarters in Warwick.