Edinburgh to get new fleet of Volvo electric buses

Domenico Bondi, MD of Volvo Bus UK & Ireland; Sarah Boyd, MD of Lothian Buses; Colin Barnes, Engineering Director of Lothian Buses; and Marie Carlsson, Vice President of Electromobility Business Development at Volvo

Lothian Buses has announced an order for 50 new Volvo BZL Electric double deck buses for Edinburgh, each with MCV bodywork.

Involving an investment of over £24 million, Lothian Buses said it will introduce the new vehicles in two batches across 2024, with the first vehicles appearing on Edinburgh’s streets in early spring.

Lothian Buses said the investment cements the company’s commitment to reduce emissions and improve air quality in its operating environment.

Lothian Buses MD 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.”

Lothian Buses said the Volvo BZL Electric double decks will offer “improved comfort and quieter journeys” with each bus accommodating over 70 passengers and featuring Wi-Fi, high back seats and USB charging points.

Domenico Bondi, Managing Director of Volvo Bus UK & Ireland, said: “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.”

Lothian Buses added: “The new buses will be powered by Volvo’s pure electric driveline which comprises a 200kW electric motor coupled to a two-stage automated gearbox.

“Each vehicle has been specified with five lithium-ion batteries giving the maximum 470kW/h of onboard energy storage – offering a range up to 300km depending on operating conditions.

“This can be extended during operation thanks to a regenerative braking system which enables a proportion of the energy that would otherwise have been lost when the vehicle is decelerating to be recovered as free, clean, energy.

“They will be charged overnight at new charging stations being installed within the company’s Annandale Street garage. Once plugged in, a full charge takes 3-4 hours.”