The Volvo 7900 electric bus arrived in Mexico in 2021 to be much more than a test vehicle, for the country’s urban transport operators to evaluate it and obtain key information to make their transport electrification projects viable. Since it arrived, it has been discussed, manufacturing possibilities at the company’s plant in Tultitlán, considering that the current model that travels the country on demonstration routes has European origin, built in Poland, at the Grudziadz plant.
But it is also necessary to have bodies of local development that allow, in addition to boosting the development of the Mexican bus industry, offer versions at more competitive prices and have better weapons to face the Chinese brands that have been arriving in the country with their integral units.
That is why the Swedish manufacturer is looking for bodies that are coupled to the 7900 electric platforms, which could accompany the original Volvo. This experience is not new, since at the time the articulated 7300 had both integral versions (chassis and bodywork), in addition to options in charge of both AYCO and Marcopolo.
Rafael Kisel, general manager of Volvo Buses México, has said several times that they are looking for the equation that best responds to the needs of the Mexican market, and if in foreign buses a large part of their success has been working closely with body manufacturers Mexicans, in electric buses would be a formula to find more competitive prices.
Marcopolo is already aware of Volvo’s initiative, and they would be willing to develop an electric version of the Torino to integrate with the 7900 chassis, which could expand the collaboration between the brands to develop articulated and bi-articulated versions, which in many cases are the axis of the renewal of fleets in massive systems and BRT not only in Mexico, but throughout Latin America, as could be seen in the renewal of Transmilenio’s trunk fleet, mostly made up of 27-meter bi-articulated ones.
AYCO, could also be a candidate, considering that work has already been done with Volvo, it is also capable of coupling to other chassis, which, at least initially, could facilitate the development of a version suitable for the 7900.