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Hydrogen, electric trucks get Government funding

Hydrogen, electric trucks get Government funding

NZ Truck & Driver News

 March 2021   

Five hydrogen fuel cell trucks and eight electric trucks are to go on the road in New Zealand….with the Government contributing $1.55million towards the cost.

A third of that figure is earmarked for a one-year trial that will see five FUSO eCanter battery electric light-duty trucks put to work by Fuso NZ with “major transport companies” in downtown Auckland.

The eCanters will be used to gain information – with data collected by EROAD – that will help shape policy for implementing a proposed Queen Street Valley Zero Emissions Area. 

Fuso NZ will also receive an additional $242,500 to put an eCanter demonstrator on the road for extended customer test driving. It will be made available to customers via FUSO dealers and will be tested with various charging options. It will also be used with FUSO’s eTruck Ready app and for etruck education and training.

And Hyundai Motors NZ has been granted $500,000 to purchase and deploy an initial fleet of five hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks (FCEVs) in “real-world daily logistics operation trials.”

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Five hydrogen fuel cell trucks and eight electric trucks are to go on the road in New Zealand….with the Government contributing $1.55million towards the cost.

A third of that figure is earmarked for a one-year trial that will see five FUSO eCanter battery electric light-duty trucks put to work by Fuso NZ with “major transport companies” in downtown Auckland.

The eCanters will be used to gain information – with data collected by EROAD – that will help shape policy for implementing a proposed Queen Street Valley Zero Emissions Area. 

Fuso NZ will also receive an additional $242,500 to put an eCanter demonstrator on the road for extended customer test driving. It will be made available to customers via FUSO dealers and will be tested with various charging options. It will also be used with FUSO’s eTruck Ready app and for etruck education and training.

And Hyundai Motors NZ has been granted $500,000 to purchase and deploy an initial fleet of five hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks (FCEVs) in “real-world daily logistics operation trials.”

The Korean manufacturer delivered the first of 1600 Xcient hydrogen fuel cell trucks to Swiss customers late last year and plans to scale up annual production of the heavy-duty FCEV to 2000 units by the end of 2021. 

Auckland green waste recycling company GreenCycle will get $89,000 to replace a diesel truck and chipper with an etruck and an electric hiab. The unit will also demonstrate to arborists and landscapers its ability to charge electric chainsaws on job sites.

Auckland civil construction company Dempsey Wood Civil is to receive $222,000 to buy a heavy-duty etruck and fit it with an attenuator as a traffic safety vehicle for use on construction and infrastructure projects.

The Government grants have been announced in the latest round of funding from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

The February grants from the fund totalled $3.7m, with the 22 recipients contributing an additional $9.4m between them to the projects.

Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says the Climate Change Commission’s recently-released draft report “rightly points out how crucial reducing transport emissions is to meeting our climate change goals. It shows we are on the right track by supporting the uptake of cleaner technologies.

“Demonstrating and proving the potential for electric and hydrogen heavy vehicles is important, as heavy freight has an outsized impact on transport emissions.” 

Woods also noted the continued expansion of the public charging network, with another 11 public chargers (many high-capacity fast chargers, with multiple charging ports) co-funded in the latest subsidies. So far the Fund has co-funded over 600 public EV chargers, of which more than 450 are operational.

Since the Contestable Fund was launched, EECA has committed $29.4m in Government funding to 180 projects, matched by $62m in applicant funding. 

Fuso NZ MD Kurtis Andrews says the eCanter is the world’s first series-manufactured etruck built by a major manufacturer and now has over a million kilometres of real-world testing behind it.

“We are delighted to be the first to bring NZ a zero-emissions delivery truck, which includes fully integrated advanced safety systems. This is a project we have focused on for a number of years and we are looking forward to getting these units out to work for our customers.”

The demo unit will be used “to build transport industry awareness and wider acceptance of electric trucks,” while the five in the Queen St ZEA will help develop a clearer understanding of “how the integration of electric trucks will affect transport and delivery systems.”

The eCanter is ideal for inner-city delivery work, Andrews says: “It is easy to drive, produces zero emissions and is virtually silent, which is a huge benefit for inner city residents and workers.”

The eCanter also has a full safety suite to back up its green credentials, including active emergency braking, lane departure warning and electronic stability control. It has an electric motor that’s powered by an 81kWh (420v) lithium-ion, liquid-cooled battery pack, delivering 135kW and 390Nm. It has a 120-150 kilometre range – extendable via its regeneration system, which captures kinetic energy.  


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