Volvo Trucks launches first hybrid bus in Asia Pacific

The Minister for Transport Western Australia, Troy Buswell, celebrated the launch of the new Volvo B5R hybrid bus on January 16th at the Volvo dealership, Truck Centre WA in Guildford, Perth. The new hybrid bus will begin operations in March in Perth’s free inner city CAT (Central Area Transit) service run by the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia.

The hybrid bus is first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. The environmentally-friendly hybrid was developed for Transperth following a visit to Sweden in 2012 by Transport Minister Troy Buswell.

When he arrived back in Perth, Mr Buswell announced that Transperth would undertake a trial of the new technology.

“I’ve been keen to see one of these buses on our roads since I was in Sweden,” Mr Buswell said at the launch event. “Perth is getting a state-of-the-art diesel-electric hybrid vehicle as a possible replacement for our existing CAT buses.”

The Volvo B5R is assembled with a locally designed and built Volgren body following the same chassis and body approach of Volvo’s industry leading city chassis, the Volvo B7RLE.

“The CAT service will give us the perfect opportunity to test the suitability of this unit for Australian conditions. It will allow us to directly compare the unit to the proven Volvo B7RLE units already operating in Perth”, says David Mead, General Manager of Volvo Bus Australia.

The event was held at the Volvo dealership in Perth. Speeches were made by Mr. Troy Buswell and Robyn Thomson, Commercial Development Manager, Volvo Bus APAC.

The event attracted lots of media with interest for the new hybrid technology. The Minister received the keys to the bus and even had a go at driving the bus.