Volvo BZL – Chassis
A Volvo BZL chassis was displayed alongside the Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City at the launch ceremony. In its transport configuration, the wheelbase is shorter than a full-sized bus, and ancillary components are secured in the middle of the chassis.
This display Volvo BZL chassis is fitted with a single traction motor. On the other hand, the prototype bus features a dual-motor configuration, as evidenced in pictures of the bus under construction.
Other features of the Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City
Volvo and SC Auto have emphasised the bus’ focus on sustainability, safety, and reliability:
Advanced safety systems are designed into the bus’s interior and exterior to protect passengers, including fire-retardant materials from composite flooring to FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastics) to insulation materials to the isolation of high voltage systems and cables. There are multiple roof layers of fire protection with a high melting point of 1,400 degrees Celsius. Finally, shatter-free passenger seats help to reduce impact in the event of a crash.
The batteries have 9 layers of safety from chemistry choice to mechanical protection to ensure overall Energy Storage System (ESS) safety. The bus is also equipped with an automatic fire suppression system for the motors and batteries, which detects heat sources of 150 degrees and automatically discharges a suppression agent to extinguish the fire, allowing the driver to lead the passengers to safety. The battery cell (single cell) and its local environment are designed to prevent further propagation to surrounding cells in case of a single-cell thermal issue. This has been repeatedly proven in testing.
For charging, an LED indicator light above the charging socket indicates the charging status of the vehicle, whether charging or fully charged. The charging session can be ended by pressing a stop button which mechanically releases the plug from the charging socket. This prevents accidental disconnection of the plug during charging, another key safety feature. Finally, in the event that a component or a cable is open, an additional safety system called the High Voltage Isolation Loop will immediately disconnect the 600V system to ensure the safety of the person and the bus.
The electric bus seats up to 89 passengers and is the first bus model in Singapore that has an emergency exit located at the rear of the bus for evacuation. The bus body structure is built using Ferritic stainless steel, which is a lightweight, high-tensile strength steel that is highly resistant to corrosion. It also features a high-capacity energy-efficient air-conditioning system coupled with double-glazed low-emissivity-coated glass panels that help reduce noise and radiant heat transfer.
The bus’s modular design allows for damaged parts to be replaced individually and quickly with locally-available spare parts, thereby reducing repair and maintenance downtime, and enabling the buses to get back on the roads sooner. With components in the rear of the vehicle purposefully minimised, accidents are thus more cost-effective to repair. Servicing the bus is also made easier with interior and exterior hatches providing easy access to important bus components.
In addition, the bus is purposefully designed to have an expected lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). More than 90% of the bus is recyclable, and the battery technology is suited for second-life applications and recyclability, thereby promoting a circular economy. In November 2022, Volvo Buses also signed an MoU on electronic waste and battery recycling with TES, a Singapore-based sustainable technology lifecycle services company.
Other 3-Door electric buses in Singapore:
- Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City | Volvo Buses
- The All-New Volvo BZL-SC Neustar City Full Electric Bus Makes its Singapore Debut (volvobuses.com)
- Volvo Buses Singapore and TES sign an MoU on electronic waste and battery recycling
- Made in S’pore: Local bus builders eye slice of electrification pie | The Straits Times
- BZL Electric chassis specifications
- Volvo BZL Electric bus chassis | Volvo Buses
- Partnering with SC Auto, Volvo Buses accelerate electromobility journey in Singapore and beyond | Volvo Buses
- Asian Trucker Issue 31 [PDF] (asiantrucker.com)
- Volvo ready to service the full electric buses (volvobuses.com)
- First fully-designed and built in Singapore bus launched | The Straits Times