Connect Bus order for 42 Sigma 7 electric buses continues Mellor’s success in Sweden
Connect Bus, one of the leading Scandinavian public transport operator, has ordered 42 all-electric Sigma 7 buses to serve Västraffik’s innovative Flex line demand responsive transport (DRT) service. Buses will be operated by Connect Bus under contract with Vastraffik, the agency responsible for public transport in the Vastra Gotaland region of Sweden.
Flex line passengers can order journeys across Gothenberg by phone, with flexible routes and virtual bus stops known as ‘meeting places’ assigned to each trip. The new buses will grow Connect Bus’ existing fleet of Mellor flat-floor Orion E minibuses introduced in March 2020. New bus deliveries will begin in Q2 of 2023, being fulfilled by BK invest, the Scandinavian distribution partner to Mellor.
Adaptability has played a vital role in reinforcing Mellor’s relationship with Connect Bus and Västraffik. The size- and cost-appropriate bus manufacturer has worked closely with the operator to understand the needs of both it and the Flex line user community, to implement learnings from their Orion E fleet in designing and configuring the new Sigma 7s.
Mellor manufactures the Connect Bus Sigma 7s according to the latest Nordic bus building standards. The vehicles are equipped with the latest low-energy driver and saloon climatic control systems, passenger and pedestrian safety features and flexible charging systems that utilise both depot and publically available charging systems.
“The Mellor Orion E has been instrumental in delivering the Västraffik Flex line service for several years,” said Gustavo Marqueta, Group Business Development Director at Mellor. “The new, Sigma 7 buses are the next step for Västraffik Flex line services, combining the flexibility of a minibus with the features expected from big bus design and technology. Our Sigma 7 is the smallest in a new range of electric buses designed to meet today’s passenger and operational needs and is the perfect fit for established DRT operations looking to switch to an all-electric service.
Christian Plyhm, CCO of Connect Bus, commented, “We are very excited with this contract which supports our commitment to zero emissions public transport in Scandinavia. We are pleased to reinforce our partnership with Mellor, which has launched an innovative range of electric buses that suits our needs as a leading regional operator.
This latest order sees Mellor strengthen its position in the Nordic market. The marque has recently delivered the first of four Sigma 7s to Nobina, the largest public transport operator in Sweden, for use on its services in Gothenburg.