The first of two Volgren Optimus-bodied Volvo BZLs built locally at the manufacturer’s Eagle Farm plant also marks the bus body manufacturer’s 50th battery electric bus (BEB). The two vehicles will be delivered to Queensland’s Translink and be operated by Brisbane City Council on its Spring Hill Loop free commuter service.
Volgren CEO Thiago Deiro said it was fitting that the milestone bus was built locally in Brisbane: “Our Eagle Farm facility has emerged as a thriving centre for battery electric bus manufacturing, acting as our primary hub for producing cutting-edge electric buses. From humble beginnings as a factory primarily focused on a single contract, Eagle Farm has rapidly evolved into a high-flexible and capable facility, accommodating over 15 different customers across three different states.
“This expansion highlights the trust and confidence that numerous customers have placed in Volgren’s expertise and the quality of our electric buses. Special thanks go to all our staff, operator partners who have put their faith in Volgren as they transition to zero-emissions, and our OEM partners and suppliers.”
Volgren’s Chief Commercial Officer Yuri Tessari said its partnership with Translink and its subcontractors has played a significant role in transitioning the Brisbane operation to building battery electric buses. “The procurement of battery electric buses from Volgren demonstrates a commitment to sustainable transportation and a reduction in emissions in the public transportation sector,” he said. “It has also provided Volgren with a valuable opportunity to showcase our expertise in manufacturing BEBs and gain real-world experience in producing electric buses. This collaboration has allowed Volgren to adapt its Brisbane operation to incorporate the design, engineering, and manufacturing processes required for building BEBs.”
Since the first bus was built there in 2022, the facility has delivered close to 40 BEBs, with a pipeline of orders to come, Volgren reports. To cope with the extra demand, it has doubled its workforce to 100 employees in Brisbane.
Volvo Bus Australia General Manager Mitch Peden said he was delighted to be working closely with Volgren to deliver the Volvo BZL Electric buses. “These full low floor buses offer passengers great accessibility, and provide peace of mind for the operators, with the highest standard of safety systems of all battery electric buses in Australia. The commonality of components across the Volvo diesel and electric range helps with serviceability and spare parts availability and, in turn, ensures maximum uptime,” he said.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of the zero-emission bus revolution, playing a pivotal role in driving sustainable transportation across Australia,” Thiago concluded. “Our thriving Eagle Farm facility symbolises our dedication to innovation, quality, and meeting the diverse needs of our customers.”