Lothian orders 50 Volvo BZLs

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Lothian trialled a Volvo BZL earlier this year. RICHARD WALTER

The new electric double-deckers will arrive in the Scottish capital in the spring of 2024

Lothian announced on 20 September an order for 50 new MCV-bodied Volvo BZL double-deck buses, following a trial of the type earlier this year. Following the £24million investment, Lothian will introduce the new vehicles in two batches during 2024, with the first expected to appear on Edinburgh’s streets in early spring. This investment follows the company’s publication of its road to net zero commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in its operating environment.

Managing Director of Lothian Sarah Boyd said: “We are delighted to be working with Volvo Buses to introduce a fleet of 50 zero-emission double decks 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.

“These buses are not only fitted with the latest zero tailpipe emission drivelines; they also offer an enhanced customer experience for the millions of passengers who choose to travel with us every week.”

Domenico Bondi, Managing Director of Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, added: “Lothian put our BZL Electric demonstrator through its paces for more than four months, and it performed fantastically. Feedback was universally positive – from drivers, passengers and Lothian management – plus the vehicle’s range was more than sufficient for a full day’s operation in Edinburgh, proven on even the coldest of winter days.

“It is a huge privilege to secure this landmark electric bus order from Lothian, and we are confident the BZL Electric will play a pivotal role in supporting our customers 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 closely with Lothian to achieve our common goal of a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.”

The new buses will be powered by Volvo’s electric driveline which comprises a 200kW motor coupled to a two-stage automated gearbox. Each vehicle has been specified with five lithium-ion batteries giving the maximum 470kW/h of on-board energy storage and offering a range up to 300km depending on operating conditions. They will be charged overnight at new charging stations being installed within the company’s Annandale Street garage.

From Left: Domenico Bondi, Managing Director of Volvo Bus UK & Ireland; Sarah Boyd, Lothian Managing Director; Colin Barnes, Lothian Engineering Director; and Marie Carlsson, Vice President of Electromobility Business Development at Volvo. LOTHIAN BUSES