In an Aus­tralian first, Gipp­s­land-based trans­port com­pany La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines placed an or­der for eight Euro 6 Volvo B5LH sin­gle-deck hy­brid chas­sis

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In an Aus­tralian first, Gipp­s­land-based trans­port com­pany La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines placed an or­der for eight Euro 6 Volvo B5LH sin­gle-deck hy­brid chas­sis

The or­der for eight new hy­brid Volvos fol­lows a suc­cess­ful 12-month trial by La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines of a Volvo Hy­brid bus, in which the tech­nol­ogy proved to save more than 30 per cent fuel and CO2 emis­sions, and also re­duced harm­ful NOx (ox­ides of ni­tro­gen; at­mo­spheric pol­lu­tants) by up to 50 per cent com­pared to a reg­u­lar diesel bus.

The eight hy­brid chas­sis will be bod­ied lo­cally in Mel­bourne by Volgren, which has pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence build­ing Volvo hy­brid chas­sis. All eight hy­brid buses will fea­ture low-floor lay­outs to im­prove pas­sen­ger ac­cess and safety, and will op­er­ate on timetabled pub­lic trans­port routes around the La­trobe Val­ley, and will sup­ple­ment LVBL’s ex­ist­ing Volvo Euro 6 diesel buses in their low-floor route ser­vice fleet.

The new hy­brids will be de­liv­ered into ser­vice over the next three years, with the first three go­ing into ser­vice in 2018. The first unit will com­mence build at Volgren in Jan­uary, ready for de­liv­ery mid-2018.

“Volvo’s hy­brid buses are part of our on­go­ing ap­proach to sus­tain­able trans­port so­lu­tions and we are proud to be work­ing on this project with La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines,” Volvo Bus Australia act­ing gen­eral man­ager David Mead says. “It’s great to see PTV and La­trobe Val­ley tak­ing the first step on the longer jour­ney to­wards fully elec­tric buses in years to come.

“Whilst we have seen the tech­nol­ogy run now in Perth, Bris­bane, Can­berra, Ade­laide and Wol­lon­gong, this is the first time we have Gov­ern­ment, an op­er­a­tor

“Volvo’s hy­brid buses are part of our on­go­ing ap­proach to sus­tain­able trans­port so­lu­tions”

and our part­ners aligned to move for­ward on a project.”

La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rhonda Ren­wick ex­plained the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits de­liv­ered by the Volvo hy­brid were key driv­ers be­hind their de­ci­sion to pur­chase the ve­hi­cles, which is also in line with its com­mit­ment to op­er­at­ing a so­cially and en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble busi­ness. Com­pared to a con­ven­tional diesel bus, the hy­brid utilises en­ergy oth­er­wise wasted dur­ing brak­ing. The stored en­ergy is used to charge a bat­tery, al­low­ing the bus to run in silent and emis­sion­free elec­tric mode dur­ing take off, which saves fuel.

The Volvo B5LH hy­brid chas­sis uses a par­al­lel hy­brid sys­tem com­bin­ing the elec­tric and diesel en­gine. This as­sists the ve­hi­cle when the bat­tery is low or when ex­tra power is needed for ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Above: La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rhonda Ren­wick (left) and gen­eral man­ager Anna Ty­ben Left: La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines has or­dered eight brand­new Volvo hy­brid buses

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