McDermott’s Coaches celebrated the successful operation of the new buses in service today with an event on the mountain attended by The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Tasmanian Treasurer and Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage and Håkan Agnevall, President Volvo Bus Corporation who came from Sweden for the occasion.
The new Volvo hybrid buses are the first in the state of Tasmania. Cradle Mountain is a world heritage listed site and is one of Tasmania’s most visited natural attractions, with surrounding landscape of protected wildlife, rich habitat and natural hiking trails. In recent years, visitation to Cradle Mountain is at an all-time high with 268,000 people visiting last year - a 12 per cent increase on the previous year.
With increased services being added to the area, McDermott’s Coaches, who are the state’s largest transport provider specializing in tours and charters, decided to implement environmentally friendly vehicles in order to minimise their environmental footprint.
“Bringing the hybrids to Tasmania was a proud moment for our family-owned and operated business. We needed a reliable vehicle with low emissions, 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,” says Simon McDermott, Managing Director, McDermott’s Coaches.
The Volvo B5L Hybrid, which is 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. Both the driver and passengers will enjoy a quieter ride as the bus is propelled entirely electrically from start and up to 15-20 km/h. At higher speeds, the bus will be powered by the hybrid system. The Volvo hybrid bus makes great use of the 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.
In addition to noise reduction, 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, with the new hybrid vehicles compared to regular diesel buses.
The new hybrid buses are bodied by Australian bodybuilder, Bustech and feature full low floors for easy accessibility for all and optimal passenger flow.
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.
“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,” says 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.”