Electric Vehicles, Renewables

QLD trials fire trucks with a renewable charge

In a pioneering initiative for Australia, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services is set to conduct trials on two newly developed fire trucks that run on renewable energy sources.

The two Volvo fire trucks, built at the Volvo factory in Wacol, Brisbane, will support operational logistics at Caloundra and Townsville.

The Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) powered truck will be operated solely on HVO to test its ability to survive the rigors of the job, covering significant distances across North Queensland on the alternative fuel source.

The electric-powered truck, the first Volvo FMX electric prime mover ordered in Australia, will be based at Caloundra and will be used for logistics delivery runs as part of its trial.

Over the first 12 months, QFES will evaluate end-user feedback, real-time operational performance, and measure the benefits of electric and alternative fuels. Depending on the success of the trial, QFES may look at further opportunities to adopt pure electric and HVO fuel into the wider 500-strong heavy vehicle fleet.

“This trial breaks new ground for Queensland’s emergency services and represents a significant step forward for greener transportation,” Queensland Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery and Minister for Corrective Services Nikki Boyd said.

“The State Government is proud to be forging ahead with this trial and the move toward decarbonising the QFES fleet.”

Volvo Group Australia vice-president of public affairs Lauren Pulitano added that the delivery signifies not only a commitment to a cleaner future but also to innovation and leadership.

According to QFES, its fleet has undertaken significant research into alternative technologies and reduced carbon fuel options to decarbonise the heavy vehicle fleet and is working towards meeting Queensland Government emissions targets.

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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