THE development of electric vehicles in Australia has been generating plenty of discussion in recent years with billions-of-dollars being invested into the technology across the world.
Preparing for electric trucks has come on the radar of the transport industry, with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) partnering with the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) to push for a long-term plan to transition away from the diesel motor.
Beef Central has spoken to several livestock transporters who said up to this point they had barely considered electric motors with under-developed technology and infrastructure.
But the Electric Vehicle Council’s CEO Behyad Jafari said freight transport vehicles were an enormous part of transitioning Australia across to electric vehicles.
“Advances in global electric freight vehicle technology are creating abundant opportunities for Australian trucking and the nation more broadly,” Mr Jafari said.
“But we can only capture those opportunities if we take a proactive approach to policy and that’s why this partnership is so exciting.”
Workshops looking into electric trucks
The organisations have started holding a series of workshops with manufacturers and operators looking into the regulatory barriers holding back electric trucks.
“This will give us an industry level insight of what government needs to do to accelerate uptake in the three key areas of policy: regulatory, financial and charging,” ATA CEO Michael Deegan said.
“We know that charging infrastructure presents complex and broad challenges. For this reason, there is potential to hold a separate workshop on this next month.”
With charging trucks taking a long-time and barely any infrastructure across regional Australia, Dr Charles Karl from the Australian Road Research Board said there was potential for hybrid diesel/electric trucks in the short term.
“I know of a Taiwanese company that does a hybrid retro-fit on trucks,” Dr Karl said.
He said educating potential consumers was important.
“You really need to go out into the field and see if the desktop numbers actually work,” he said.
“Then when we make that investment, we make it from a point of knowledge rather than from reading a brochure or watching a YouTube video.”