NZ Truck & Driver News

 
NZ etruck project powers up

NZ etruck project powers up

NZ Truck & Driver News

 April 2018   
A New Zealand pilot programme using electric heavy trucks for waste collection is ramping-up, with a Kiwi production line now converting diesel-engined trucks to electric power.

Waste Management has three electric trucks in service in the trial – each of them converted in Holland by electric truck conversion specialist EMOSS.

Another two are currently being converted in Holland – but now Waste Management has set up its own conversion workshop in NZ and is already working on the first of 20 conversions using EMOSS kitsets.

Waste Management managing director Tom Nickels says that the pilot programme has been a big success: "So far, we've outperformed what was expected."

The company's first electric truck, a 4x2 Isuzu FRR 600 with a box body, was put to work last year picking up food waste from Auckland supermarkets.

Late last year a 500 Series Hino 6x4 began emptying wheelie bins in Christchurch – making it the "first 100% electric resident...

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A New Zealand pilot programme using electric heavy trucks for waste collection is ramping-up, with a Kiwi production line now converting diesel-engined trucks to electric power.

Waste Management has three electric trucks in service in the trial – each of them converted in Holland by electric truck conversion specialist EMOSS.

Another two are currently being converted in Holland – but now Waste Management has set up its own conversion workshop in NZ and is already working on the first of 20 conversions using EMOSS kitsets.

Waste Management managing director Tom Nickels says that the pilot programme has been a big success: "So far, we've outperformed what was expected."

The company's first electric truck, a 4x2 Isuzu FRR 600 with a box body, was put to work last year picking up food waste from Auckland supermarkets.

Late last year a 500 Series Hino 6x4 began emptying wheelie bins in Christchurch – making it the "first 100% electric residential waste collection truck in the Southern Hemisphere," the company believes. Since then an electric Isuzu 6x2 side-loader has also gone to work.

Now, says Nickels, the company – which has more than 800 trucks in its fleet – has "great confidence that this is the right track."

Nickels strongly believes that the extra costs involved with going electric will come down "quite rapidly."

In Waste Management's case, with the stop-go nature of the work its waste collection trucks do, the trucks are expected to run longer between services, with less brake-pad wear.

Nickels says the company has had to change tack in staffing its EV workshop: "When you've got an electric motor and batteries, diesel mechanics are not what you need there. You need electrical technicians and engineers."

The truck drivers in the EVs have to use different techniques, he says – but do not want to get out of the etrucks.

Nickels reckons that etrucks present a "tremendously exciting opportunity across the transport sector.

"I think all enlightened companies that care for the environment should definitely be looking at it. I know some of them are thinking about it. It seems to make sense in every dimension."

Not-for-profit group Drive Electric says that heavy vehicles are "a huge part of the electric revolution" – with Drive Electric member Waste Management leading the way here…but not on its own.

Fellow Drive Electric member ABB, which offers charging solutions for large electric vehicles, also sees huge potential in heavy EVs. NZ MD Ewan Morris says there is "a large amount of interest in electrifying NZ's bus fleet, however it's early days.

"There are some pilot/trial projects being run in order to gain experience. Some of the major cities have signalled a desire to adopt this technology."

Auckland Transport (AT) is also investing in heavy EVs, with two electric buses set to run on the City Link route.

AT's manager of bus services Darek Koper says it will use the ebuses to test their viability in Auckland, "looking at elements such as battery life, ability to cope with hills and passenger loading.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for Auckland to take a big step towards achieving the aim of a zero-emission fleet from 2025." The buses, built by Alexander Dennis, have been jointly funded by AT and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.


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