Following the launch of the new Volvo BZL Electric chassis in Queensland late last month, Volvo Bus Australia has further committed to ensuring the “sustainable management of electric vehicle batteries” throughout the complete lifecycle of the bus.
Volvo Bus Corporation launched the new Volvo BZL Electric chassis in a live virtual event in late-September, during which Volvo Bus Australia hosted and displayed the new complete Volvo BZL Electric chassis with a Volgren Optimus body.
Now it has revealed that part of the management of the battery lifecycle, it is looking at the possibility of using its electric buses to sell and deliver surplus energy back into the grid.
“As we begin to see increasing demand for electric buses in Australia, we will also see an increase in the number of used batteries,” said Mitch Peden, the head of Volvo in Australia
Part of Volvo’s commitment to sustainable electric vehicle battery management is its recent partnership with Sweden’s Stena Recycling, one of Europe’s leading electronics recyclers.
Volvo Buses and Stena Recycling subsidiary Batteryloop will seek to give Volvo bus batteries a “second life” by using them as energy storage units where the capacity limitations that develop over time, and act as a hindrance for an electric vehicle, are nevertheless more than sufficient for static energy storage operations.
The lithium-ion batteries on the BZL electric buses boast a capacity of up to 470kWh powering either one or two 200kW motors. Unfortunately, Volvo has not yet provided a range number.
However, the charging options on Volvo BZL Electric buses are impressive. Options include CCS charging with max charge power of 150kW located on the rear side of the bus, as well as rooftop charging with a max charge power of 300kW thanks to OppCharge integration which allows for fast charging at stops such as bus stops.
The new Volvo BZL Electric was then to be handed over to the Western Australian Public Transport Authority (PTA), the first customer nationally to be operating the Volvo BZL. The West Australian government announced in mid-2020 that it would trial four of Volvo’s all-electric buses in 2022, and it seems that the BZL Electric is the result of that agreement.