Volvo B10BLE

Volvo B10BLE

SBS Transit Volvo B10BLE (Diesel)

Other names B10B, CNG
Manufacturer Volvo Buses
Bodywork Volgren
Year 1997, 2002 – 2005
Local Operators SBS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry Low Entry
Engine Volvo DH 10 A-245 (Diesel)
Volvo GH 10 B-245 (CNG)
Gearbox ZF 5HP 500 (Diesel)
ZF 4HP 500 (CNG)
Emission Standard Euro II


The Volvo B10BLE (Bus chassis, 10-litre engine, Longitudinally-mounted, Low Entry) is a low-entry single-deck transit bus built by Volvo Buses, popular in Australia, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Commonly referred to as the “B10B”, it is the low-entry equivalent of the Volvo B10B citybus chich which has a stepped entrance. Like other Volvo buses, the chassis was manufactured in Sweeden.

Currently, Singapore’s major bus operator, SBS Transit, has a sole diesel B10BLE demonstrator unit (SBS1688K) in its fleet, and 12 other Compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered variants, which are easily distinguished by the large roof pod housing CNG tanks.

Technical Data:

The original B10BLE was launched around 1992, available with a diesel engine. A later compressed natural gas (CNG) powered version was introduced, with the gas tanks mounted on the roof of the bus.

The 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. This bus was succeeded by the Volvo B7L, Volvo B7RLE, Volvo B12B and Volvo B12BLE.

The Volvo B10BLE features an inline four-stroke six-cylinder Volvo DH10A engine with a turbocharger and intercooler, delivering 245 horsepower. The engine is able to meet Euro 2 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.


Demonstrator Unit (SBS1688K):

In 1997, then Singapore Bus Service (SBS) brought in its first low-floor bus, a Volvo B10BLE demonstrator unit from Volvo Buses. The model was the direct successor to the highly popular Volvo B10M series which SBS operated in large numbers at the time. On 12th Jan 1998, the bus was registered as SBS1688K.

SBS Transit Volvo B10BLE (SBS1688K) – Service 84

Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo DH 10 A-245 diesel engine
    9603 cc, 245 hp (180kW) @ 2000rpm
    Torque rating of 1050 Nm @ 1100-1450 rpm
    Euro II compliant
  • ZF Ecomat 5HP 500 gearbox
    Five-speed automatic
  • Volgren CR221L Bodywork
  • Mobitec MobiDOT Electronic Display Signages (EDS)
    Green flip-dot matrix design. Front, side and rear (3 units)
  • Sutrak air-conditioning, roof mounted

SBS1688K was the first Euro-II compliant bus in Singapore. It has a special single-seat layout at the front half of the bus, allowing for the placement of a three-branched stanchion pole in the centre for more standing space. Bucket seats by Saydair are used in place of older seat models. As no plans were made for ferrying passengers-in-wheelchairs, SBS1688K is not equipped with a wheelchair ramp, though a similar designated-wheelchair area is available on the bus, which is utilized as additional standing space.

The bus was originally deployed to Bedok North Depot in its early days, running on Service 16, and later 36 and 518. It was later redeployed to Hougang Depot until the end of its lifespan, serving on routes such as 80, 82, 84, 85 and 163.

After being permanently deployed on Service 84 since 2014, the bus was laid-up on 11 January 2015 after 17 years on the roads, with no extension of lifespan.

Additional Specifications:

SBS1688K has a licensed carrying capacity for 83 passengers, comprising 34 seating and 49 standing passengers.


CNG-Powered Variants (SBS2988M – SBS2999G):

In 2001, SBS Transit acquired an additional 12 more Volvo B10BLE buses, but opted for the Compressed Nautral Gas (CNG) powered version. Registered during 2002 and 2005, they are the only CNG urban buses to have entered service in Singapore.

At that time, these buses had to be refuelled on Jurong Island with CNG stations around the island being severely limited. The were originally deployed on Jurong Island services when launched (between Jurong East Int and Jurong Island). When private operators took over the services, they were redeployed on Boon Lay and Jurong East routes.


Basic Specifications:

  • Volvo GH 10 B-245 CNG engine
    9603 cc, 245 hp (180kW) @ 2000rpm
    Torque rating of 1050 Nm @ 1100-1450 rpm
    Euro II compliant
  • ZF Ecomat 4HP 500 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Volgren CR222L Bodywork
    Updated bodywork in contrast to the CR221LD. Assembled by Soon Chow.
  • Plastic route destination plates, without Electronic Display Signages (EDS) installed
  • Coolair air-conditioning, roof mounted

The CNG-powered buses are similar to the diesel-driven SBS1688K on the inside, but bear distinct differences on the exterior. The larger front roof pod houses the CNG tanks, while the air-conditioning unit is the smaller unit located behind the CNG tanks. Additional weight of CNG storage components increased the vehicle unladen weight by over a tonne.

The first unit, SBS2988M, was registered on 19 Apr 2002 and commenced revenue service that same month. It was later followed up with SBS2989K, registered 18 July 2002. The two buses were deployed on Jurong Industrial Service 712 and later trialed on Service 105. The remaining ten buses (SBS2990E – SBS2999G) were kept in storage until their registration on 29 Dec 2005, commencing revenue service on 1st Jan 2006. Their long period of disuse could be due to the lack of CNG fueling facilities in Singapore, making them dependent on a small number of fueling points.

Despite being low-entry, these buses are not equipped with a wheelchair ramp, though a similar designated-wheelchair area is available on the bus, which is utilized as additional standing space.

Currently, CNG buses are based at Soon Lee Depot and refueled at either Jurong Island or Toh Tuck. A majority of them are deployed on Service 105, between Serangoon and Jurong East, with a minority being deployed on Boon Lay internal feeder routes.

Additional Specifications:

CNG B10BLEs have a licensed capacity for 84 passengers, with 35 seating and 49 standing passengers.




External Links and References:

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