Sunbus Volvo B12BLE with Bustech VST body.
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The Volvo B12BLE is a low-entry city and suburban bus chassis launched in 2001 with an engine mounted on the rear overhang. It replaced the Volvo B10BLE and is used as a base for single deck buses in Europe and Australia.
It is a similar to the B7RLE in design, with the overall chassis being the same, however the B12BLE features the 12-litre Volvo DH12 engine and is equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes because of the extra weight. The engine is mounted horizontally, as opposed to vertically, for example, with the Volvo D7 engine in the B7L. The radiator is mounted low on the right hand side.
The B12BLE is also available in articulated form since 2005, which is known as the B12BLEA. The creation was from the tractor and turntable modules of B7LA, and the rear modules of the rigid B12BLE. The B12BLEA can now be purchased by any operator as part of Volvo's product range and is now available with a more refined Euro IV engine.
From 2004, the B12BLE is available with the MkII electrical system and a 6-speed ZF 6HP592C automatic transmission, the B12BLEA also having the MkII electrical system and a 6-speed ZF 6HP602C automatic transmission.
The B12BLE is also available as a complete integral bus package in Europe - the Volvo 8500LE and 8700LE.
Numerous public transport operators in Australia operate copious amounts of the B12BLE, either in its Euro III or Euro IV guises.
The Volvo B12BLEA was conceptualised for the State Transit Authority of Sydney, Australia because the B7LA was too underpowered for many of Sydney's bus routes due to the hilly terrain. The world's first B12BLEA entered service with State Transit Authority of Sydney in late 2005. State Transit Authority has placed an order for 80 B12BLEA articulated buses, and they will be assembled with Custom Coaches bodywork.
2 Volvo B12BLEAs (Euro V standard) are operated by Sentosa under the guise of a beach tram running on the island's Siloso Beach Tram route. The rear module of the bus consists of a large, sheltered standing area with an al-fresco seating area on the elevated part of the bus where the drive axle is. The buses are bodied by Liannex Corporation and are limited at 35KM/H for safety reasons.
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