Central Interceptor e-trucks hit the road

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 30, 2023

Watercare has officially launched three new electric tipper trucks for the $1.2 billion Central Interceptor project.

The trucks, which will operate at a work site in Mangere, are the first of their kind in New Zealand.

The e-trucks were manufactured by Chinese e-truck manufacturer XCMG. After extensive testing in Auckland, the trucks were sent to Rotorua where a truck trailer manufacturer designed and installed the tipper bodies.

The e-trucks can each transport up to 13 tonnes of material, with an average range of 200km.

They are powered by a single 180kg battery and charging takes 90 minutes, or the batteries can be swapped in around 10 minutes. The trucks have a tare of 13,400kg (unloaded) and produce 79% less CO2 emissions compared with their diesel counterparts.

Over the next four years, the trucks are projected to transport 66,000 tonnes of spoil and reduce at least 306 tonnes of CO2-e (the equivalent of driving from Cape Reinga to Bluff more than 800 times). For every 100,000km travelled, around 50,000 litres of diesel will be saved.

The 14.7km Central Interceptor wastewater tunnel will improve the health of central Auckland waterways by significantly reducing wet-weather overflows. Since January 2023, the e-trucks have been transporting excavated material from tunnel and shaft sites to Puketutu Island, where Watercare is carrying out a rehabilitation project at a former quarry.

Electric vehicles were introduced to the Central Interceptor’s passenger fleet in 2019. Central Interceptor executive programme director Shayne Cunis said the e-trucks make up an exciting addition to the project’s overall sustainability strategy.

“This is a stand-out project in terms of safety, expertise and benefiting the environment.

“The e-trucks will not only provide huge carbon savings through zero emissions, but residents living alongside some of our 16 construction sites will benefit hugely from having almost silent truck movements. Being a good neighbour is very important to us,” he said.

The Central Interceptor project is being delivered by Ghella Abergeldie JV (GAJV) and they received $500,000 in co-funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority under the Government’s new-look Low Emission Transport Fund.

“Getting the trucks here has been a long process. The global pandemic certainly got in the way, but we’re thrilled they’re finally here and on the road,” said GAJV social responsibility manager, Sandra Edward

“We’re very excited by some of the specific design features such as reversing cameras and bin cameras, as well as an automatic tarp cover that slides over the top of the material for the journey to the tip site.”