Why your online buys could arrive by electric tuk-tuk

More than 100 electric trucks, vans and tuk-tuks will hit Australian roads for a project to show freight companies how to lower their emissions.

Logistics firm ANC announced the plan on Wednesday after the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) invested $12.8 million from its Driving the Nation Fund.

The commitment comes weeks after courier firm Team Global Express revealed plans to add 300 electric vehicles to its fleet, through a $30 million investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

It also comes on the back of changes in several states to allow heavy-duty electric trucks on roads.

ANC chief executive Joe Sofra said the two-year, $45.5 million program dubbed Project Spark was designed to electrify 30 per cent of the company’s last-mile delivery fleet by 2028.

“We will expedite the deployment of battery electric vehicles, reducing emissions and leading the charge towards a zero-emissions delivery ecosystem,” Mr Sofra said.

“We are poised to make a substantial impact on the market and, more importantly, on the environment.”

The project roll out 112 electric delivery vehicles and charging infrastructure to support their use.

ANC manages a network of truck owner-drivers under contract for firms including Ikea, JB Hi-Fi and Bunnings, and the company will provide the electric vehicles under discounted leases and by offering longer contracts to drivers who adopt them.

Mr Sofra said the company would also raise funds by offering its retail clients low-emission deliveries for additional fees, similar to carbon offsets in other industries, and would investigate whether the quiet vehicles could be used for overnight deliveries in residential areas.

ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said the project is not only hoped to replace more diesel trucks with large electric vehicles, but could also show other companies the transition was possible.

“It promises to kickstart a step change in electrifying (last-mile deliveries) in Australia by lowering the total costs to own and run electric trucks which, in turn, boosts the numbers of zero-emission vehicles on our roads,” Mr Miller said.

“Ultimately, this project is about educating owner-drivers and countering the misperceptions out there.”

ANC had previously tested 20 electric vehicles in its fleet over two years.

More heavy-duty electric trucks are expected on roads following changes by some state governments to allow vehicles with a heavier front axle.

The changes mean some imported heavy-duty electric trucks are allowed on some roads in Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)


Like This