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New mild hybrid Volvo XC60 gets the blue light from two fire services

New mild hybrid Volvo XC60 gets the blue light from two fire services

Two fire and rescue services have taken delivery of 13 new Volvo XC60s with the firm’s new B4 diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, in a move to lower fleet emissions and fuel consumption. The addition is part of a joint investment by the Shropshire and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Services in a fleet of 53 XC60s, to provide valuable support to their emergency response teams.

The practical yet versatile specification of the award-winning XC60 mid-size SUV, its five-star Euro NCAP rating and low Whole Life Costs convinced the organisations that the joint purchase made sense for their combined fire officer fleet, as they move away from leasing.

The two fire and rescue services cover a significant geographical area across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. It is, therefore, vital that the response teams can rely on the XC60 in emergency situations 24/7, 365 days a year, in often difficult and demanding conditions.

Jeffrey Dickson, Transport Manager for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service explains: “As well as offering generous terrain clearance for rural, off-road and flood driving and a minimum 505-litre boot capacity for carrying heavy but vital equipment, the XC60 delivers a very comfortable and fuel-efficient experience.

“Importantly, as a public sector organisation, Whole Life Costs are critical and the excellent specification of the XC60 was part of its appeal with very few modifications needed to make it fit for purpose.”

A covert blue light system and communications equipment were added to the XC60s by Volvo’s preferred vehicle installation and conversion partner, Jack Hodson Limited. The boot lining and floor mats were also changed to more practical alternatives.

The design and in-car technology of the XC60 have quickly made it popular among the Fire Service Response Officers on the frontline. Martin Barclay, Vehicle Contracts Manager for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service adds: “The fire officers see the XC60 as a premium quality, but hardworking vehicle that makes their job more enjoyable. Technological features like the Volvo On Call app, which allows our drivers to remotely defrost the windscreen and heat the car, help when time is of the essence. The four-wheel-drive capability is also a real advantage for the wide range of driving conditions they encounter.”

Steve Beattie, Head of Business Sales, Volvo Car UK, said of the partnership: “Everyone would agree that vehicle reliability is key, whatever your driving needs. But for emergency response teams, getting to the job quickly and safely will make all the difference to those they are attending.

“The addition of the mild-hybrid XC60 to the fleet brings further benefits by reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency, vital for public sector organisations constantly challenged with containing fleet costs. We are extremely proud that the XC60 has been chosen by the two fire services, and confident it will play its part in their incredibly important work.”

The XC60 is the second Volvo model, after the XC90 large SUV, to benefit from the mild hybridisation that will soon feature on all of its models. Designated by the letter ‘B’ on the tailgate badge, the new XC60 B4 and B5 diesel mild-hybrids major on increased efficiency. They Volvo’s familiar 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine – producing 197hp in the B4 and 235hp in the B5 – with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and an integrated starter generator. A new automatic gearbox also brings lower fuel consumption along with superior shift quality; an increase in torque capacity in low gears improves acceleration from a standstill.

The overall result is real-world fuel economy and emissions benefits of around 15% compared with the outgoing all-wheel-drive D4 and D5 units.

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