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Volvo B7RLE
First Manchester 66912.jpg
One of FirstGroup's B7RLE seen with the First Manchester subsidiary in Oldham, Greater Manchester.
Manufacturer Volvo
Floor type Low-floor
Doors 1 or 2 doors
Engine(s) Volvo D7C/D7E
Transmission ZF
Options Various customer options / Various body options

SBS Transit's Volvo B7RLE Demonstrator at Farrer Road.

KMB's Volvo B7RLE (AVC25/PG9293) on route 14C at Kwun Tong Road.

A BMTC Volvo bus [1] introduced on 17th Jan 2006 in Bangalore. B7RLE chassis are assembled at Volvo's factory outside Bangalore in India.

The B7RLE plying Chennai's roads. This is the first time Volvo Euro 5 has entered the product in 2007 IndiaAsia.

Volvo B7RLE Hungarian version in Budapest (Volvo Alfa Localo)

Volvo B7RLE-based Volvo 8400 low-floor bus for Kochi City in Kerala owned by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation

Volvo B7RLE is a low-floor single-deck citybus launched initially in Australia in 2001, and then in the United Kingdom in 2003 to supplement the B7L single-decker, which was unsuccessful in both countries. It is similar to the B7L's predecessor, the B10BLE. In essence the B7RLE is the front section of the B7L chassis mated with the rear section of the B7R chassis.

Originally, the B7RLE featured the D7C 6-cylinder, 7-litre diesel engine with a turbocharger and intercooler, producing 290bhp and meeting the Euro3 incentive emission standard. This was replaced by the Volvo D7E engine, to Euro4/Euro5 incentive emission standards. Unlike the B7L, the B7RLE's engine is mounted at the centre of the rear overhang as opposed to the nearside, resolving the issue of engine intrusion into the saloon. The Volvo B7RLE is also equipped with disc brakes and ABS.

The B7RLE appealed more to UK operators, with whom the B7L was unpopular and has sold well compared to its predecessor (FirstGroup plc having been the only major buyer for the B7L thanks to a Volvo contract maintenance agreement). UK operators of the B7RLE include Arriva, FirstGroup, East Yorkshire Motor Services, Blazefield Group, Rossendale Transport, Wilts & Dorset, Warrington Borough Transport and Go North East (part of Go-Ahead Group), Lothian Buses and many more including Travel West Midlands who took delivery a number in late 2006 for the 37 and 311/311A/313 services.

Initially the B7RLE was only available in the UK with Wright Eclipse Urban bodywork. Since 2004 it has also been used as a low floor single-deck coach, with a longer front overhang and Wright Eclipse Commuter body. From late 2006 the B7RLE in the UK is available with Plaxton Centro bodywork (the first example being sold to GHA Coaches), followed by Alexander Dennis Enviro300 and Optare Esteem bodywork in 2008.

The B7RLE can also be found in many other countries, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan. However, many of these buses use local bodywork, as do the Volvo B7RLEs that Saracakis constructed for Thessaloniki.

In 2003, Huangbus (Lok Ma Chau - Huanggang shuttle bus service) purchased five B7RLEs with Jit Luen JL-08 bodies and D7E-290 7142cc engines.

KMB ordered 40 B7RLEs with MCV Evolution bodies in 2009, followed by another 30 in the same year, and named with fleet code AVC. The first batch of AVCs arrived in November 2009, but did not enter service until April 2010 due to a change in the bumper design. As of August 2010, there are 40 AVCs in service, all equipped with Euro V engines, except AVC2, which has a Euro IV engine due to the fact that it was a carry over chassis from the previous model year. They are now in service on routes 7M, 14C, 34M, 73K, 78K, 224M, 234B, 264M, 273 and 278K.

Singapore has B7RLE's running in Sentosa featuring Liannex bodies, either in a citybus configuration for its internal shuttles, or as open-top double-decker buses. A Euro-4 demonstrator featuring Soon Chow bodywork was offered to SBS Transit (initially meant for a one-year trial) in December 2007, and is currently plying Service 174.

The bodywork adopted by Malaysia's B7RLE, operated by Kuala Lumpur-based bus operator RapidKL as a wheelchair accessible bus, features a more radical design by Gemilang.

Volvo B7RLEs also operate in Surabaya, Indonesia. It is the first wheelchair-accessible bus in Indonesia fitted with a Euro IV engine. The bus uses Bustech bodywork, designed and built in Australia.

See also

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