Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Services have added 13 new mild-hybrid Volvo XC60s to their vehicle fleet.
The addition is part of a joint investment by the two fire services in a fleet of 53 XC60s, to provide support to their emergency response teams.
The pair said that the versatile specification of the award-winning XC60 mid-size SUV, its five-star Euro NCAP rating and low wholelife costs convinced them that the joint purchase made sense for their combined fire officer fleet, as they move away from leasing.
Jeffrey Dickson, transport manager for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, explained: “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, wholelife 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. 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 added: “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 at Volvo Car UK, continued: “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 offer real-world fuel economy and emissions benefits of around 15% compared with the outgoing all-wheel-drive D4 and D5 units.