Lothian Buses has ordered 50 Volvo BZL battery-electric double-deckers. It represents a spend of over £24 million and the buses will be introduced in two tranches during 2024, with the first entering service in early spring.
The order follows extended demonstration of the BZL in both double- and single-deck format with the Edinburgh operator. MCV will body the buses and each will include wi-fi, high-backed seats, and USB charging points. Rear-view cameras also form part of the specification.
Driveline configuration will include 470kW/h of energy storage to deliver a claimed range of up to 300km. A 200kW motor will be coupled to a two-speed automated manual gearbox. Charging infrastructure to support the buses is being installed at Lothian’s Annandale Street depot.
Speaking about the purchase, Lothian Buses Managing Director Sarah Boyd says: “We are delighted to be working with Volvo Buses to introduce a fleet of 50 zero-emission double-deckers to our fleet.
“Lothian continues to support the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council’s strategies to improve local air quality, and this level of investment ensures that we as a business are playing our part in improving air quality across the city.”
Announcement of the order follows recent publication of Lothian’s Driving towards Net Zero environmental strategy. It calls for ongoing delivery of zero-emission buses into the 2030s, including an exploration of the scope of hydrogen fuel cell-electric power. A fully zero-emission fleet is planned by 2035, with repower of diesel buses to battery-electric also featuring.
Confirmation of the BZL order from Lothian Buses represents further success for the Volvo product. Volvo Bus UK and Ireland MD Domenico Bondi adds: “We are confident that the BZL will play a pivotal role in supporting our customer’s ambitious net-zero strategy, which resonates strongly with Volvo’s own ambition to create zero-emission cities.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership and working with Lothian to achieve our common goal of a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.” Mr Bondi recently revealed that Volvo has passed the 500 mark for BZL battery-electrics accounted for in the UK.