Volvo Group Australia has delivered the first zero-emissions emergency vehicle in Australia at the recent AFAC conference
In a partnership between heavy vehicle giant Volvo Group and the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA), Australia’s first zero-emissions battery electric truck has been unveiled this week.
The novel emergency vehicle was shown to attendees at the Australasian Fire and Authorities (AFAC) conference, with Volvo handing the vehicle over at the event.
Volvo Group Australia president and CEO Martin Merrick was on hand to complete the delivery, with ACT police and emergency services minister Mick Gentleman joined by ESA acting commissioner Jason Jones to receive the inaugural electric vehicle.
Volvo Group says the purchase and delivery forms a touchstone moment for the partnership between Volvo and ESA, which first began back in July 2022.
The vehicle at the centre of the milestone is the FL Electric, a model designed for urban and city environments that comes with a superstructure designed and made in New Zealand.
Gentleman says the FL Electric will be used in the ACT for important tasks such as operational support for fire and rescue teams.
“This is a significant moment for the ACT. Transitioning emergency services operational support vehicle to zero-emissions models is a crucial step to achieving our government’s nation-leading target of net zero-emissions by 2045,” Gentleman says.
Acting ESA commissioner Jones says the delivery of the co-designed vehicle is a major moment in Australia’s journey to reducing emissions within emergency service transport.
“As we transition our fleet, we’re excited to not only improve our environmental footprint but to improve safety and wellbeing for our staff and volunteers,” Jones says.
Volvo says the vehicle is expected to first begin operational service in the ACT in early 2024 following initial driver development training and vehicle implementation processes initiated by the manufacturer.
Volvo Group Australia president Martin Merrick says the group expects to manufacture its range of FM and FH heavy-duty electric vehicle at its Wacol facility from 2027 pending on regulatory settings.
“Transport accounts for 19 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions and 38 per cent of that is from road vehicles,” he says.
“With this project, government and the emergency services are leading by example in moving to net-zero vehicles. Early adopters like the ESA and ACT government should be commended and Volvo is proud to be supporting their work to shape a more sustainable world.”