Reducing ecological footprint in Tasmanian national park12/3/19
With its ancient rainforests and rich wildlife, the Cradle Mountain National Park is one of Tasmania’s most visited attractions. Four new Volvo hybrid buses are now helping to minimise the ecological footprint from tourism.
Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Australia, is a world heritage listed site with a surrounding landscape of protected wildlife, rich habitats and natural hiking trails. In recent years, visitation to the national park has reached an all-time high with 268,000 people visiting last year – a 12 per cent increase on the previous year.
With more 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 to minimise its environmental footprint.
I’m incredibly proud that we have got such an environmentally sensitive approach for the new bus service into the park. That is something that aligns truly with values that the world heritage area has.
Four new Volvo hybrid buses are now transporting passengers between the Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Dove Lake.
“Bringing the first hybrids to Tasmania was a proud moment for our family-owned and operated business. We needed a reliable, quiet vehicle with low emissions that 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.
With the new Volvo hybrid buses, McDermott’s Coaches will be able to save up to 40 per cent in fuel and emit up to 40 per cent less carbon dioxide. Compared to regular diesel buses, the new hybrid vehicles will cut harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate emission by as much as half.
“I’m incredibly proud that we have got such an environmentally sensitive approach for the new bus service into the park. That is something that aligns truly with the values that the world heritage area has,” says Nic Deka, Regional Manager Northwest, Tasmania Parks & Wildlife.
As the bus is propelled entirely electrically from start and up to 15–20 km/h, both the driver and passengers will enjoy a quieter ride. 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 is used to power the vehicle’s electric motor and various auxiliary systems.
“We are extremely proud and humbled at Volvo to be part of not only this exciting environmental project in a 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 Lauren Downs, General Manager Volvo Bus Australia.
Volvo B5L Hybrid
The Volvo B5L Hybrid is a modern powertrain, combined with the parallel hybrid electric motor. The diesel engine produces 240hp with the electric motor adding an additional 110kW of performance, making it ideal for tackling the various inclines of Cradle Mountain. The buses are bodied by Australian bodybuilder Bustech and feature full low floors for easy accessibility.
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.