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Home / Transperth, Perth, Western Australia / Volvo B5RLE Hybrid [28]

Launched in February 2013, TP2245 is the first Volvo Hybrid demonstrator to operate in the Asia-Pacific region. The Volvo B5RLE Hybrid (initially designated Volvo B5RH, also known as Volvo B5RLEH or Volvo B5RHLE) is running in Perth on a year-long trial to test the viability of hybrid technology in Australian environments.

The Volvo B5RLE Hybrid uses the Integrated Starter Alternator Motor (I-SAM) parallel hybrid driveline, powered by a six-phase AC electric drive motor and the Volvo D5F215 diesel engine that is Euro V (EEV) compliant. It is fitted with Volvo AT2412D I-Shift 12-speed transmission. The initial air-conditioning system was from Spheros in one front Easysphere unit and two rear Citysphere units, and its flip-dot MobiDOT EDS was supplied by Mobitec.

Transperth's demonstrator TP2245 began serving Perth's Free CAT shuttle before it was briefly deployed on longer suburban routes in Mandurah. It has since returned to the Perth CAT shuttle with its replacement Spheros REVO-E 28kW air-conditioning unit. One separate B5RLE Hybrid unit was put on display at the 2013 Australian Bus and Coach show, and then sent to Singapore for evaluation by SBS Transit. A third unit was delivered to Adelaide Metro in South Australia for trial in December 2013 and began operating on the Free City Connector service from January 2014. All three units are 11.4m long and received the Volgren CR228L bodywork.

By August 2015 however, the hybrid bus trial in Perth was deemed to be unsuccessful. According to the West Australian, Transport Minister Dean Nalder referred to difficulties associated with staff training and lack of spare parts with the B5RLE Hybrid, and planned to procure Euro VI diesel buses instead.

In Europe and the United Kingdom where hybrid technology is more prevalent, the Volvo B5LH chassis or Volvo 7900 Hybrid (7900H) as an integral product is offered instead. The former is usually delivered as a double-decker bus, while the latter delivered either as a single-decker rigid or articulated bus. As of 2014, the Volvo 7900H comes with the Volvo D5K240 Euro 6 engine and Volvo AT2412E I-Shift as standard.