Case studies

New hybrid bus fleet helps drive change

A Latrobe Valley family business that has been providing public transport for more than 50 years is driving change with its plans for an environmentally friendly bus fleet.

Latrobe Valley Bus Lines (LVBL) already has three hybrid electric buses in service and plans to have eight by mid 2020.

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The new Volvo B5RLE hybrid buses are the first of their kind in Victoria and are expected to deliver a 35 per cent saving on fuel as well as a 30 to 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and a reduction of up to 50 per cent in nitrogen oxide or particulates emissions. Maintenance costs on the hybrid electric buses are also expected to be lower. The hybrid buses use an electric motor that works in parallel with a diesel engine to drive the vehicle.

LVBL General manager Anna Tyben said that Latrobe Valley was known for its high level of air pollutants and the company was looking to play its part in innovative solutions to provide the best service it can.

“We live here and our drivers live here. So this is our small contribution and we'd like to see that that contribution increase,” Ms Tyben said.

LBVL Managing director Rhonda Renwick said she hopes the buses provide opportunities for others in the Latrobe Valley to learn about hybrid technologies and encourage people to think about electric vehicles as a viable alternative.

LVBL financed its new hybrid fleet through ANZ’s Energy Efficient Asset Finance program that accesses CEFC finance to offer a 0.7 per cent discount per annum on a customer’s standard asset finance rate for eligible energy efficient and renewable energy assets. The discount applies to finance of up to $5 million for new assets that meet energy efficient eligibility criteria.