Volvo Buses is introducing a new chassis for electric buses called BZL Electric. It is designed for both single and double-decker buses with several options for bodybuilders and features a powertrain developed entirely by Volvo.
According to Volvo, the new chassis is based on proven and successful technologies already in use in Europe. At its heart is an electric motor coupled to a two-stage automated transmission, which has 167 kW continuous, 200 kW peak power and 425 Nm of torque. According to the manufacturer, the driveline can be configured for solo buses as a single- or dual-motor unit with an output of up to 400 kW. For double-deckers, there is only the single-motor variant.
The BZL Electric chassis is 11,815 mm long for the single-decker and 10,585 mm for the double-decker. The permissible gross weight is 19.5 tonnes. A Volvo RFS-L axle is fitted at the front and a ZF AV133 axle at the rear. The chassis can accommodate three to five battery packs with NCA cells of 94 kWh each, resulting in the three battery options 282 kWh, 376 kWh and 470 kWh. Volvo does not give a forecast on the range in its announcement. On the other hand, buses based on the BZL Electric can, according to the manufacturer, be charged with up to 150 kW DC via two different hardware interfaces as well as optionally via OppCharge with a maximum of 300 kW.
Volvo also emphasises that the chassis is prepared for the integration of roof-mounted systems from various suppliers for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (including heat pumps). In addition, Volvo Buses has already laid the groundwork for using its latest connected technology offerings. Volvo Connect and Volvo Zone Management are cited as examples.
Finally, the Swedish company also highlighted the sustainability credentials of their chassis. For example, the BZL Electric is said to be 90 per cent recyclable. “We are committed to leading the transformation of our industry towards a more sustainable future. With the introduction of the new Volvo BZL Electric, we aim to offer the most responsible electric bus systems in the world. We do this by focusing on sustainability, safety and reliability,” emphasises Anna Westerberg, President of Volvo Buses.
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