Ara Ake, HWR, Freightways asses TCO of low emissions fleet options

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 25, 2022

New Zealand’s future energy centre, Ara Ake, is working with major road freight and transport companies to help them better assess the options and costs for decarbonising their road fleet.

Ara Ake is partnering with H.W. Richardson Group and Freightways to assess the total cost of ownership of different low emissions fleet options. This will be carried out by Auckland University of Technology using Ara Ake’s Total Cost of Ownership tool.

Ara Ake chief executive Cristiano Marantes said the tool enables the comparison between vehicles powered by fuel cells (green hydrogen), battery, drop-in and conventional biodiesels, standard diesel internal combustion engine vehicles, and the most recently added diesel/hydrogen blended fuel.

The tool incorporates a set of inbuilt assumptions – based on publicly available information – such as vehicle capital costs, the cost of various fuels including electricity, the loads the vehicles carry, driver wages, maintenance, and road user charges.

The AUT team will support HWR and Freightways to gather and input their own data into the TCO tool to reflect their individual operations.

“This tool will enable transport companies to make more informed decisions when purchasing or leasing their vehicles, and we see it supporting a hard-to-abate sector in making long-term progress in their decarbonisation goals,” said Dr Marantes.

Associate professor Ali Ghaffarian, from the School of Future Environments, Auckland University of Technology, said the TCO tool is the only publicly available tool that considers the key low emissions options that could be used to decarbonise New Zealand’s road freight.

“After this work with HWR and Freightways, these companies will be able to undertake accurate comparative analysis using their own data.”

Invercargill-based H.W. Richardson Group has been leading a project to introduce a blended diesel/hydrogen fuel option to its fleet.

A normal internal combustion engine diesel truck can be retrofitted to enable hydrogen to be blended in the combustion chamber. HWR plans to have ten dual-fuel trucks on New Zealand roads by the second quarter of 2023.

“The TCO tool will prove very valuable when making decisions on future transport assets,” said Anthony Jones, HWR’s group chief executive.

“It is great to see a dual-fuel such as the blended diesel/hydrogen option that we’re going to be using, included in the tool, and to have the ability to compare it to other fuels.”

The updated and third version of the tool is available on the Ara Ake website.