Säffle 2000-bodied B10BLE in Finland
|Body and chassis|
|Doors||1, 2 or 3|
|Floor type||Low entry|
9.6-litre horizontally rear-mounted I-6|
Volvo THD103/THD104/DH10A (Diesel)
Volvo THG103/GH10A/GH10B/GH10C (CNG/biogas)
|Capacity||30 to 45 seated|
|Length||11950mm and 14500mm|
The Volvo B10BLE was a low-entry bus chassis manufactured by Volvo in Sweden between 1993 and 2004. The first prototypes were built in 1992, but mass production started in 1993, only a year after the high-floor B10B. It was popular in Australia, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. It had the engine mounted on the rear overhang of the bus. It became the successor of the city bus version of the B10B and was used as a base for single-decker buses worldwide. The B10BLE was available in diesel powered format, and later in a compressed natural gas powered format with the fuel tanks on the roof of the bus. Its low-floor design was widely promoted by Volvo when it was first launched, on the basis of added convenience to the passengers, and the increase in transport efficiency due to the low-floor design.
The production of the diesel powered variants ended in 2001 to give way for B7RLE and B12BLE, while the CNG variants were produced until 2004. In the United Kingdom market, Volvo unsuccessfully tried to replace the B10BLE with the B7L in 2001, but realized that it was not as popular among the customers and offered the B7RLE from 2003.
The Volvo B10BLE features a Volvo DH10A engine with a displacement of 9,600 cc (586 cu in). It is an inline four-stroke six-cylinder diesel engine with a turbocharger and intercooler. The engine has a power output of either 245 or 285 bhp (183 or 213 kW). The engine is able to meet Euro II emissions limits.
Optionally available is a Volvo GH10-series (GH10A, GH10B, GH10C) natural gas or biogas engine. All generations of this engine are inline four-stroke six-cylinder spark-ignition engines with a turbocharger and intercooler. The GH10A and GH10B engines were lean-burn engines and the GH10C is a "mixed-lean" engine, operating on an optimised balance between stoichiometric and lean-burn combustion strategies. Power ratings vary from 245 bhp (183 kW) in the GH10A to 290 bhp (220 kW) in the uprated version of the GH10C. The GH10C is able to meet Euro IV emissions limits.
In mainland Europe, B10BLEs were bodied by Säffle/Aabenraa, Carrus and other local manufacturers.
One diesel-powered demonstrator was introduced in 1997 and scrapped in 2015. The other twelve were CNG powered and are still in service.
In the United Kingdom, many of the B10BLEs had Wright Renown bodywork, and a small number received Alexander ALX300 bodywork. The original Plaxton Prestige also featured the Volvo chassis as an option, but very few of these were built.
Media related to Volvo B10BLE at Wikimedia Commons