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Electric truck projects get $3.2m of funding

Electric truck projects get $3.2m of funding

NZ Truck & Driver News

 August 2021   

A battery swapping station for a Chinese-made heavy-duty electric truck is among the new low-emission commercial transport projects getting Government co-funding.

The latest round of funding from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund – announced by Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods last month – has a heavy emphasis on electric truck projects.

Etrucks, the New Zealand distributor for XCMG Chinese trucks, has a heavy-duty electric tractor demo unit in the country with a swap-battery system – giving it an extended range.

The batteries can be swapped in seven minutes or less – but need a gantry crane to carry out the changeover.

Etrucks has been granted almost $500,000 to import a gantry style robotic battery-swapping station for the unique model and to demonstrate it.

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A battery swapping station for a Chinese-made heavy-duty electric truck is among the new low-emission commercial transport projects getting Government co-funding.

The latest round of funding from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund – announced by Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods last month – has a heavy emphasis on electric truck projects.

Etrucks, the New Zealand distributor for XCMG Chinese trucks, has a heavy-duty electric tractor demo unit in the country with a swap-battery system – giving it an extended range.

The batteries can be swapped in seven minutes or less – but need a gantry crane to carry out the changeover.

Etrucks has been granted almost $500,000 to import a gantry style robotic battery-swapping station for the unique model and to demonstrate it.

Minister Woods says: “This is exactly the kind of innovation the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund is here for – to address barriers that may be in the way of faster low-emissions transport uptake.”

Battery-swapping stations, she adds, “will save valuable time for truckies. It will mean they’ll be able to quickly swap in a fully-charged battery to continue their journey, leaving the old battery for recharging later and at offpeak times, when electricity is cheaper.”

In the latest round of grants from the Fund, of the 22 projects receiving $6.5million (with the recipients committing an additional $12.8m spend), seven are for electric trucks…with another for more than 100 electric courier vans. In all, the commercial road transport projects will receive almost $3.2m in funding.

It’s believed that Etrucks’ battery-swap truck also features in a $500,000 grant to the Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture, which is building the 14.7-kilometre Central Interceptor wastewater tunnel under Auckland.

It’s grant is towards the cost of three battery-swap electric trucks (and their necessary charging infrastructure). They will cart at least 66,627 tonnes of spoil that will be excavated during the project – with a 306t reduction in CO2 emissions. Their use will be prioritised at sites with residential neighbours to reduce noise disturbance.

Auckland’s Reliance Transport receives a $500,000 grant for its Project SWITCH – which aims to make the business “the first fully-electrified carbon negative on-road freight solution in NZ.” The funding will help with the purchase of two heavy-duty electric Scanias.

Fletchers Distribution receives $218,420 towards the cost of it testing an unspecified number of electric tippers to cart construction materials in metropolitan Auckland and Christchurch.

While NZ Post gets $239,948 towards the cost of running a pilot project using a FUSO eCanter for short-haul deliveries in the Wellington region. The knowledge gained will be used in the rollout of low-carbon technology in its transport and delivery networks.

Auckland operator Carr & Haslam receives $140,549 towards running a trial with an eCanter delivering single motor vehicles (including light EVs) within the central city. It will also show whether vehicle recovery is viable using electric trucks in Auckland’s proposed Zero Emissions Area.

Two Christchurch City Council projects receive funding – $447,207 towards the costs for five civil construction and maintenance service suppliers to switch to using only zero emissions trucks and other vehicles in their work for the council.

Another $419,026 is earmarked for the establishment of a zero emissions area for service companies delivering to commercial properties in the Papanui and Christchurch Airport shopping precincts. On-route truck charging infrastructure will be included.

Kalista gets $482,000 in funding to establish a multi-station fast-charging network for a fleet of Green Gorilla EVs on a “high profile municipal food waste collection contract.” It will also promote/enable third party commercial operators to charge/trial and investigate EVs.

Finally, Mercedes-Benz NZ is awarded $240,000 towards its partnership with NZ Post to run more than 100 eSprinter and eVito vans with owner-driver couriers in a pilot programme to evaluate their effectiveness and cost benefits.  


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