Volvo wants to make its buses more sustainable and more eco-friendly. To do that, the Swedish company recently revealed the all-new BZL Electric. Touted by Volvo Buses as the world's most responsible electric bus system, BZL Electric is aimed at providing a sustainable and efficient public transport system.
“We are committed to leading the transformation of our industry towards a more sustainable future. With the launch of the new Volvo BZL Electric, our ambition is to offer the world’s most responsible electric bus systems. We do it by focusing on sustainability, safety, and reliability,” said Anna Westberg, president of Volvo Buses.
The electric powertrain for the BZL was developed in-house by Volvo and makes 200 kW (or 271 PS). What it lacks in horsepower, the electric motor makes up for in pulling power with 19,000 Nm of torque.
In a single-decker configuration, the bus can come with two electric motors which result in a total system output of 400 kW (or 543 PS) and a whopping 31,000 Nm of pulling power. In a double-decker setup, the BZL will only come with a single electric motor. The electric drivetrain is coupled to a two-speed automated manual transmission that can increase torque at low speeds and evens out current peaks.
To ensure the bus can cover hundreds of kilometers before it needs to recharge, the bus has a lithium-ion battery pack that has a capacity of up to 470 kWh. It also has a flexible charging system called OppCharge – a roof-mounted system that can keep the BZL's batteries charged while on the move. For faster recharging while in the depot, the BZL Electric has a Combined Charging System (CCS) which allows it to have a max charging power of 150 kW.
The chassis can come with steel or aluminum wheels wrapped in 275/70 R22.5 tires, disc brakes, and electrically driven hydraulic steering. It also has plenty of safety features such as ABS, an electronic braking system, acceleration slip regulator, brake blending, electronic stability control, and hill-start assist.
“Through experience, we know that we need to work closely together with our customers and partners to be able to tailor electromobility solutions to each individual city. And through our worldwide service network and dedicated service teams, we can ensure the reliability and efficiency of our products and services even in the long-term perspective. It’s all about delivering zero unplanned downtime,” said Dan Petterson, Head of International at Volvo Buses.
As cities continue to embrace electrified public transportation, Volvo is looking to provide commuters and cities zero-emissions buses that are both powerful and efficient. If private vehicles can go electric, then it shouldn't be a problem for automakers to build electric buses, too.
Do you see the possibility of an electric future for public bus transport in the Philippines too?
"We have been getting inquiries about this new exciting product from Volvo Buses. We are actively working with our principals and local stakeholders on how to have it approved for our market, given the infrastructure required to deploy it properly. However, we are confident electrification will definitely be the formula for mobility moving forward," said Robbie Torres, president of Autodelta Coach Builders, the exclusive distributor of Volvo Buses in the Philippines.