This next-generation electric bus, which was designed specifically to meet local bus requirements utilises state-of-the-art electric charging technology and chassis design to deliver superior efficiency and emission-free bus journeys. The bus is also compliant with UN ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) standards.
Engineered In-house for Bus Drive Optimization, Safety and Powered by Clean Energy
Jointly engineered by Volvo and SC Auto in Singapore, the electric bus has been meticulously designed with global and Singapore regulatory and safety standards, focusing on sustainability, safety, and reliability.
Key safety features:
Advanced safety systems designed into the bus’s interior and exterior to protect passengers, including fire-retardant materials from composite flooring to FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastics) to insulation materials to the isolation of high voltage systems and cables. There are multiple roof layers of fire protection with a high melting point of 1,400 degrees Celsius. Finally, shatter-free passenger seats help to reduce impact in the event of a crash.
The batteries have 9 layers of safety from chemistry choice to mechanical protection to ensure overall Energy Storage System (ESS) safety. The bus is also equipped with an automatic fire suppression system for the motors and batteries, which detects heat sources of 150 degrees and automatically discharges a suppression agent to extinguish the fire, allowing the driver to lead the passengers to safety. The battery cell (single cell) and its local environment are designed to prevent further propagation to surrounding cells in case of a single cell thermal issue. This has been repeatedly proven in testing.
· The driver’s environment meets ISO 16121 standards, which contain requirements for an ergonomic and comfortable seating position to keep drivers in a good state of health for prolonged driving. This includes mounting positions of the driver’s seat, pedals, and carefully chosen steering allowance to enable drivers to sit comfortably.
The electric bus holds up to 89 pax and is the first bus model in Singapore that has an emergency exit located at the rear of the bus for evacuation. The bus body structure is built using Ferritic stainless steel, which is a lightweight, high-tensile strength steel that is highly resistant to corrosion. It also features a high-capacity energy-efficient air-conditioning system coupled with double-glazed low emissivity-coated glass panels that help reduce noise and radiant heat transfer.
In addition, the bus is purposefully designed to have an expected lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). More than 90% of the bus is recyclable, and the battery technology is suited for second life applications and recyclability, thereby promoting a circular economy. Further, the bus’s modular design allows for damaged parts to be replaced individually and quickly with locally available spare parts, thereby reducing repair and maintenance downtime, and enabling the buses to get back on the roads sooner.
Launch Event Themed “Stronger Together”
Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth, graced the event as Guest-of-Honour, where he walked around the new bus and shared a speech at its unveiling at SC Auto’s Senoko Road factory.
Commenting on the partnership, Law Chung Ming, Executive Director (Transport & Logistics), Enterprise Singapore said, “We are heartened to see SC Auto reaching this new milestone in its innovation journey, with the launch of the Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City Electric Bus. Its successful partnership with Volvo demonstrates that Singapore companies have the right capabilities and make good partners for global corporates to co-innovate solutions to address the growing demand for sustainable transport. Enterprise SG will continue to work with local companies such as SC Auto to build new capabilities and explore partnerships to capture new opportunities emerging from the green economy.”
Contributing Towards Singapore’s Green Plan by 2040
Aligned with Singapore’s electrification plan for public buses to have a 100% cleaner energy bus fleet by 2040, the newly launched electric bus provides a viable solution as a greener way for people to travel. The Volvo BZL-SC Neustar City electric bus is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 60% or approximately 329kg per passenger per year of carbon dioxide for every 15,000km when comparing an electric bus to that of a diesel bus’s similar journey.
Rachel Lee, Managing Director of SC Auto Industries said, “Today’s launch is an important step for SC Auto as we roll out viable electric buses as part of sustainable land transport solutions for Singapore. We believe this to be an important contribution to the nation’s agenda of transitioning to a climate-friendly, net zero emissions mobility sector by 2040. I am delighted that our strong partnership with Volvo Buses has helped to unlock more possibilities in green transport – their pioneering automotive technology, coupled with our expertise in building best-in-class buses, are particularly well matched. As a homegrown manufacturer, we take great pride in our products and are confident that this electric bus meets with our customers’ high expectations on sustainability and climate-suited infrastructure.”
Mats Nilsson, Director of Volvo Buses Asia Pacific Central said, “We are incredibly proud to showcase the first Volvo BZL-SC Neustar City in Singapore. With a local track record of over 40 years, today’s launch represents a key milestone for the manufacturing industry here, and officially kicks off Volvo’s complete electromobility offering in Singapore. At Volvo Buses, we believe that these changing and complex times require more strong partnerships like that of ours and SC Auto’s, which result in exciting innovations like this electric bus and provide inspiring leadership to push forward the green transport agenda. Of note, this partnership involves competence transfer between the two companies, providing a glo-cal solution to meet local market needs, and (from Singapore) enabling the further expansion of our joint regional activities.”
Creating Jobs and Upskilling Workforce
The new electric bus will be produced in SC Auto’s 200,000 square feet factory at 51 Senoko Road. In line with Singapore’s 10-year plan to grow its manufacturing sector by 50 per cent in 2030, which is a key driver of the nation’s economic growth, SC Auto and Volvo are expected to create up to 100 new job opportunities in its workforce and/or upgrade the skills of 50% of its existing workforce as production for the new bus ramps up at its factory.
Additionally, both Volvo and SC Auto are already collaborating with local tertiary institutions, including ITEs through the ITE Work-Study Diploma program, as well as Polytechnics and Universities to help nurture the next generation of engineers, and collectively contribute to Singapore’s emerging electric vehicle ecosystem.
The Volvo BZL-SC Neustar City electric bus will be trailed on Singapore’s roads by end-2022.
Click the link to know more about Volvo BZL-SC Neustar City
Volvo Buses Singapore
Marketing and Communications Manager