Optare Solo vehicles to showcase at major Swedish bus exhibition

Visitors to the Persontrafik 2012 exhibition will have their first opportunity to see examples of Optare’s Solo SR vehicles in the Nordic region. The exhibition is open between the 27th and the 29th of November and is being held at the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre in Gothenburg.

BK Invest AB, Optare’s appointed agent for Sweden will showcase two Solo SR vehicles on stand number C02:42.

The first is a Mercedes-Benz, diesel powered 8.2 metre variant, a length specially produced for the Swedish market. It is 2.5 metres in width with a fastflow entrance door and has a seating capacity of 19, plus one wheelchair bay to the rear of the driver.

The second is a diesel electric hybrid vehicle at 9.2 metres in length, believed to be the first small hybrid bus in Sweden. A Mercedes-Benz 130kW engine combines with the Siemens electric motors to drive the vehicle, and roof mounted super capacitor system is used for energy storage. It has a fastflow entrance door and a centre exit, with a seating capacity of 23 plus a wheelchair bay.

In both cases Rescroft CT Lite passenger seats are fitted, each having three-point seat belts and a whole host of optional equipment has been specified in each vehicle, including double glazing, an enhanced passenger compartment heating system, air conditioning, radio/CD system with public address feature, driver’s air suspension seat with three-point belt, electrically heated and adjustable exterior rear view mirrors, engine bay fire suppression system and a number of other features specially developed for the Swedish market.

BK Invest was established in 1996 and is based in Henån on the Island of Orust on the west coast of Sweden – approximately 75km north of Gothenburg. They have a thriving sales and rental business for trucks, trailers, buses and commercial vehicles and offer a range of finance solutions for purchase or rentals to their clients. They were formally appointed as the authorised Optare dealer for Sweden in late 2010, and took delivery of four vehicles during 2011 with a further seven in 2012.

Margareta Lundqvist, co-owner of BK Invest is extremely upbeat about future prospects in Sweden and said “We are pleased to represent Optare in a market place which is of course dominated by international giants like Volvo and Scania, but we firmly believe there are excellent prospects for high quality smaller vehicles which have a proven track record for reliability, durability, build quality and exceptional fuel efficiency so the Optare Solo is an ideal solution.

“We have already had a lot of interest from several key operators in Sweden and our attendance at Persontrafik 2012 will be the perfect stage to showcase these vehicles to other Swedish bus companies.

“I also believe that the Swedish market is ready to look at alternatives to diesel and CNG drivelines. Optare is the UK’s leading manufacturer of low carbon single deck buses with full electric and hybrid drive vehicles in daily service in several British cities. That is why BK Invest have ordered a hybrid drive demonstrator and we will be commencing a nationwide demonstration programme after the show.”

Charles Waggott, Optare’s Director of Export Sales commented “We see growing potential for our Solo product in export markets as the more challenging fiscal environment for operators demands a change in approach. I have worked with many international dealers over the years but the enthusiasm and professionalism of the BK Invest team is nothing short of exceptional. It is very refreshing to work with such a committed and resourceful set of people. Our combined efforts will form the foundation to what can only become a very successful venture for Optare and BK Invest, and our mutual Swedish customers in the years ahead.”