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QFES ‘breaks new ground’ with zero emission Volvo delivery


An Australian first trial has seen two new zero emissions Volvo prime movers delivered to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

The trucks – one running on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and the other electric – will help to support the services’ operational logistics at both Caloundra and Townsville.

Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery Nikki Boyd says that the trial could pave the future for emergency services vehicles in Australia.

“This trial breaks new ground for Queensland’s emergency services and represents a significant step forward for greener transportation,” Boyd says.

“The state government is proud to be forging ahead with this trial and the move toward decarbonising the QFES fleet.

“QFES is the first Queensland government department to introduce and conduct a trial operating heavy vehicles on HVO and pure electric.

“Volvo is at the forefront of electrified heavy road transport technology and I have no doubt firefighters will be eager to participate in this trial and get behind the wheel.

“The further adoption of electric and HVO-powered trucks will have a positive impact on all Queenslanders, through lower emissions, a reduction in noise pollution and in the case of electric vehicles, lower running costs.”

Image: Volvo Trucks Australia

The HVO truck has a diesel option, but will operate solely on alternative fuel to test its ability to operate on the job and cover vast distances in Northern Queensland.

Meanwhile the electric truck, which was the first Volvo electric prime mover ordered in Australia, will be based at Caloundra and primarily used for logistics deliveries.

Volvo Group Australia vice-president of public affairs Lauren Pulitano says this marks a significant step in Volvo’s move to zero emissions in Australia.

“This delivery signifies not only a commitment to a cleaner future but also to innovation and leadership,” Pulitano says.

“Earlier in 2024, Volvo Group Australia committed to manufacturing battery electric vehicles in its facility at Wacol, building on its 50-year history of local manufacturing.

“Our commitment to local manufacturing of electric vehicles in Wacol by as early as 2027 means that soon trucks, like this Volvo FMX, will be made right here in this factory.

“No one can get to zero emissions alone – we need partnerships.

“Industry, government, and other stakeholders all have a responsibility to work together to reduce emissions.

“Volvo is dedicated to partnering with Australian industry to decarbonise heavy transport.

“This is evident in the world-leading electric trucks, technology, and global experience we are bringing to Australia’s transition.”

An evaluation trial will be undertaken during the first 12 months of operational service with data collated via on-board vehicle information management systems and field evaluations from QFES personnel, with the support of Volvo.

There will also be a collaborative arrangement with the University of Queensland, in which the university’s researchers will support the evaluation phase of the trial.

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