Major transport operator ComfortDelGro has become the first company to incorporate Volvo’s new Zone Management System technology integrated into its Victorian fleet Volvo B5LH S-Charge Buses as part of its goal to promote sustainable transport.

CDC Victoria currently operates the largest existing self-charging bus electric fleet in Australia and maintains a focus with Volvo Bus in using this technology to pursue long-term environmental sustainability.

According to a ststement from Volvo Bus, the newly introduced system will ’enable CDCV’s existing S-charge bus fleet to achieve zero emissions in designated zones by operating exclusively in electric drive mode, without relying on the electricity grid or expensive charging infrastructure’.

Volvo says that in addition to offering environmental benefits, the Zone Management techology also has the capacity to enhance the passenger experience for commuters, promising a silent ride, and giving the community improved quality of life through decreased air and noise pollution.

Volvo say its Zone Management system facilitates various benefits by ‘deploying advanced geo-fencing technology and telematics’.

The company claims that the technology is the first of its kind within Australia and is paving the way to ‘a more innovative, efficient and environmentally friendly future for transport’.

“We are so excited to be the first in Australia to achieve zone based zero emissions on our existing S-Charge bus fleet and believe that this technology innovation revolutionises our Victorian operations without the need for extensive infrastructure,” said Nicholas Yap, CEO of ComfortDelGro Australia.

“This new system will greatly benefit the local community promising a silent ride with zero emissions in a variety of locations, for a cleaner, greener Australia,” said Nicholas Yap.

Volvo says that in addition to allowing operators to program buses to automatically switch to electric mode within selected zone areas, the technology also allows for speed regulation without driver intervention to ensure safer operation.

The company says that the Zone Management system is part of its Connected Services offering, which is available as an option with any Volvo B5LH S-Charge purchase.

Volvo adds that its B5LH S-Charge can run in electric or diesel mode and can operate on up to 100 per cent biofuel – all whilst producing a lower carbon footprint than many grid charged electric vehicles.

The batteries are charged via both the energy that is captured by braking regeneration and the engine and as a result, the Volvo B5L S-Charge can be used on virtually any bus route in urban areas or in the suburbs.

So far nine buses, out of CDCV’s S-Charge fleet of 50, have been fitted with  Zone Management technology and have already commenced operations on the streets of Melbourne across major routes. The remaining buses will reportedly be upgraded across the next 4 months.

“We are excited to be partnering with CDC on this journey in Melbourne and for allowing us to introduce innovation with a trusted partner,” says vice president Volvo Bus, Asia Pacific, David Mead.

“The application of Zone Management feature will allow our customers’ like CDC to drive longer and emission free on electricity without the need to modify their operations,” said Mead.