Recently the first Volvo Hybrid was delivered to Australia. The transport ministry in Western Australia, Perth, is interested in environmental performance, noise and fuel savings. The Volvo B5RH (that we internally also call the “Global Hybrid”) has been equipped with a body built in aluminum, by the local body builder Volgren.
The Volvo Hybrids have an in-house parallel drive train that has gained rumor of having higher reliability than diesel engines. The high fuel saving of the hybrid sister from Europe the 7900 Hybrid is contrasting other accessible low floor buses on the market. The saving relative to a comparable diesel bus has by independent evaluators been benchmarked to 35%. Volvo Bus is now very eager to follow the performance of the low entry hybrid in Perth as there is limited experience from very hot markets.
The climate is challenging but we have positive experience from deliveries to Mexico and Spain. We are now securing the technology step-by-step. If fuel savings can be confirmed and achieved without sacrificing the comfort and climate the hybrid buses will have a bright future also in Australia.