Australia’s EVC welcomes govt truck width limit changes 

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 29, 2023

The Australian federal government’s move to increase the width limit of trucks will bring Australia in line with major overseas markets and help increase the uptake of electric heavy vehicles, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.

The overall width limit of trucks will increase from 2.5m to 2.55m, which will align with standards used by major supplier economies.

EVC chief executive Behyad Jafari said the electric vehicle industry has been calling for the change for several years.

“The EVC congratulates the government for working collaboratively with industry and other stakeholders to deliver this important change,” Jafari said.

“Increasing the width limit of trucks brings Australia in line with major overseas markets, like the EU, which is vital if we want to increase the supply of electric trucks on our roads,” he said.

“Being out of step with international regulation has restricted the supply of electric trucks into Australia. Aligning these standards will make it simpler and cheaper for Australian operators to access electric trucks, while also improving productivity, freight efficiency and safety.”

Trucks make up around one-fifth of Australia’s transport emissions.

“Having more electric trucks crossing the country will reduce transport emissions, improve air quality, cut the cost of freight and reduce operating costs for owners as we decrease our reliance on expensive, imported fuel,” said Jafari.

“As the adoption of electric trucks accelerates around the world, it’s vital that Australia stops falling behind. Increasing the width limit is a great first step, but we need to keep the momentum going to support our country’s electrification of trucks.”

Jafari said the federal government must build on the announcement by introducing a mass concession – one tonne minimum – for electric trucks, and making it cheaper and attractive for Australian businesses wanting to embrace the technology.

“More broadly, we need a National Electric Heavy Vehicle Strategy that outlines a plan to decarbonise our heavy vehicle fleet over the long haul.”