VOLVO HYBRID BUSES NOW SERVICING TASMANIA

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Volvo Australia


TASMANIA’s World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain is now running passengers between the key tourist location’s visitor centre and Dove Lake using Bustech-bodied Volvo hybrid buses, it's been announced, recently.

VOLVO HYBRID BUSES NOW SERVICING TASMANIA
“Bringing the hybrids to Tasmania was a proud moment for our family owned and operated business,” said Simon McDermott, managing director, McDermott’s Coaches.

Touted as one of the cleanest locations in the world, Tasmanian bus operator McDermott’s Coaches purchased four Volvo hybrids as part of the new Cradle Discoverer contract.

McDermott’s Coaches celebrated the new buses in service with an event on the mountain attended by The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Tasmanian Treasurer and Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage; Jason Jacobi, deputy secretary and general manager of Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service; and Håkan Agnevall, president Volvo Bus Corporation, who came from Sweden for the occasion, recently.

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ON NEW GROUND

The new Volvo hybrid buses are the first in the state of Tasmania, confirms Volvo Australia.

Cradle Mountain is a world heritage listed site and one of Tasmania’s most visited natural attractions, with a surrounding landscape of protected wildlife, rich habitat and natural hiking trails. In recent years, visitation to Cradle Mountain was at an all-time high with 268,000 people visiting in 2018 - a 12 per cent increase on the previous year, it's reported.

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With increased services being added to the area, McDermott’s Coaches - the state’s largest transport provider specialising in tours and charters - decided to implement environmentally friendly vehicles in order to minimise their environmental footprint, explains Volvo.

"Bringing the hybrids to Tasmania was a proud moment for our family owned and operated business," said Simon McDermott, managing director, McDermott’s Coaches.

"We needed a reliable vehicle with low emissions, [is] quiet and had the ability to work in a harsh environment.

"The Volvo hybrid bus could do just that, and was the best fit in our eyes," he explained.

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LESS NOISE, LESS FUEL

Both the driver and passengers will enjoy a quieter ride as the bus is propelled entirely electrically from start up to 15-20km/h. At higher speeds, the bus will be powered by its hybrid system.

The Volvo hybrid bus uses energy generated during engine braking, as it is stored in the bus’s batteries and used to power the vehicle’s electric motor and various auxiliary systems, the company states.

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In addition to noise reduction, using these hybrids McDermott’s Coaches will be able to save up to 40 per cent on fuel and emit up to 40 per cent less climate-impacting carbon dioxide, and cut harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate emission by as much as half, compared with regular diesel buses, Volvo explains.

The B5L Hybrid - powered by a Volvo D5K Euro 6 engine - is a modern powertrain, combined with the parallel hybrid electric motor. The diesel engine produces 240hp with the electric motor boosting to an additional 110kW of performance, making it ideal for tackling the various inclines of Cradle Mountain, it’s claimed.

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SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION

The new hybrid buses are bodied by Australian bodybuilder Bustech and feature, "…full low floors for easy accessibility for all and optimal passenger flow," Volvo states.

Each vehicle is equipped with 39 seats, wheelchair access and has been purposefully built to, "…deliver fantastic views for the trip into the national park," according to the company.

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"We are extremely proud and humbled at Volvo to be part of not only this exciting environmental project in the World Heritage-listed national park, but also the much larger paradigm shift within the Australian transport industry in the move towards sustainable transport solutions," said general manager Volvo Bus Australia, Lauren Downs.

"The high-quality, low-emission and environmentally friendly transport achieved as a result of this new bus project is a true testament to the joint vision shared between Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and McDermott’s Coaches, from which the surrounding nature and all visitors to the park will benefit greatly.

"Together with our local servicing partner, the CMV Group, we look forward to continuing our partnership with McDermott’s Coaches and supporting them well into the future to achieve our common goals of reliable transportation and environmental care."

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ABOUT VOLVO BUSES

Volvo Buses is one of the world’s leading bus manufacturers, with a strong focus on vehicles and systems for long-term sustainable public transport, it states.

The product range includes complete transport solutions, city buses, intercity buses and tourist coaches, as well as services in financing, vehicle servicing, vehicle diagnostics and traffic information, it adds.

Volvo Buses is part of Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction machines, as well as drive systems for marine and industrial applications, it states.

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