50 NEW VOLGREN-BODIED HYBRID BUSES FOR MELBOURNE METRO CDC

By: Fabian Cotter


THE LARGEST HYBRID BUS ORDER in Australia to date has been placed by CDC Victoria, it was announced recently.

50 NEW VOLGREN-BODIED HYBRID BUSES FOR MELBOURNE METRO CDC
The buses to be delivered to CDC Victoria are on Volvo B5LH Hybrid chassis that will be bodied locally by Volgren Australia in Dandenong, Victoria.

In a move to, "reduce emissions, improve the passenger experience, and create local jobs" the Victorian State Government is introducing hybrid technology on 50 new buses in the suburbs of Wyndham, Oakleigh and Sunshine, it’s reported.

The introduction of the new Volgren-bodied, Volvo-hybrid buses into the local CDC bus fleet will feature low-floor layouts to "improve passenger access and safety, and are Euro 6 emission standard" - the "highest and cleanest level for [diesel] commercial vehicles worldwide at present," the Government stated.

Volgren in Dandenong is supplying and fitting out the Optimus bodies, which represents, "securing jobs in Victoria and supporting the local automotive industry to develop new capability and innovation," the Government added.

The new Euro 6 chassis are Volvo B5LH Hybrids, built in Sweden, industry sources confirm.

Trials in Victoria found hybrid buses used 30 per cent less fuel and reduced noise significantly during idling and departing from stops, it’s claimed.

The new hybrid buses will be phased into the CDC Victoria bus fleet over the next three years as part of the new contract with the operator. The first bus will enter service late 2018 with at least 30 new hybrids to be delivered in the next 12 months, it’s stated. All 50 buses will be delivered by 2022, it’s reported.

According to the Government, passengers in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs can "also look forward to more reliable bus services and train connections" with the introduction on 24 June of refreshed timetables on Routes 612, 623, 624, 625, 626 and 630 (to Elwood only).

The six bus routes operated by CDC Victoria connect passengers to trains at Glen Iris, Mount Waverly, Oakleigh, Ormond and McKinnon stations.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said: "We’re continuing to invest in new technologies, new vehicles and better services to improve public transport in Victoria."

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"These 50 new hybrid buses will improve accessibility, secure local jobs and support the environment."

Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams added: "This is great news for our local community – this pipeline of work will support our local economy and, most importantly, local jobs."

THE CDC VIC FLEET

CDC Victoria CEO Nicholas Yap says the fulfilment of the order [of] 50 hybrid buses represents a replacement of 1-in-4 of its metropolitan Melbourne bus fleet operating on PTV contracts.

"This demonstrates our commitment to delivering a more sustainable public transport solution in linking people, places and communities," Yap explained.

According to the company, CDC Victoria has conducted a trial using hybrid Euro 5 buses since August, 2017. The new hybrid buses are Euro 6.

The first buses will be delivered in August and September this year.

These new hybrid buses will replace CDC Victoria’s current fleet, the company confirms.

In terms of driver recruitment, CDC Victoria says it is, "…always looking for drivers to join us, as well as mechanics."

Volgren CEO Peter Dale said, "Volgren is delighted to be partnering with Volvo and CDC Victoria to deliver the 50 Euro 6 hybrids into metropolitan Melbourne."

"All 50 buses will be built in Dandenong and locally engineered, securing local jobs and supporting local development and design in hybrid technologies."

HYBRID THEORY

While there are already more than 4000 Volvo hybrid buses in operation around the world, this order placed by CDC Victoria is the largest hybrid bus order to date in Australia, demonstrating CDC’s commitment to innovation, the environment and local community, says Lauren Downs, general manager, Volvo Bus Australia.

"Volvo are thrilled to be part of this environmental project, and look forward to helping CDC deliver attractive, innovative and environmentally friendly transport solutions to the streets of Melbourne.

"With full route flexibility and no requirement for any additional charging infrastructure, the Volvo Hybrid B5LH technology is the ideal solution for operators to save fuel and emissions, and start their journey towards electromobility," she added.

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