CentrePort goes electric to help reduce carbon emissions

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 30, 2020

In a first for any port in New Zealand, CentrePort is going 100 percent electric with its on-port container transfer vehicles.

A contract has been signed with French company Gaussin to supply seven electric tractor vehicles (and accompanying trailers), which are expected to be operational by July.

Logistics general manager Mark Thompson says sustainability is a key principle of CentrePort‘s regeneration and going electric makes environmental and business sense.

“We‘re committed to reducing emissions, which is a key component for the regeneration of the port. Replacing the current diesel-powered vehicles used to transfer containers on port will reduce CentrePort‘s carbon footprint by approximately 250 tonnes per annum, and forms part of a wider energy programme moving forward. 

“The new vehicles will also improve the efficiency of our container movement system leading to further carbon reductions. There are cost benefits as well with reduced maintenance expenditure required for the electric vehicles,” Thompson said.

CentrePort chose Gaussin to provide the vehicles due to the French company‘s proven track record in innovative electric and hydrogen powered logistics vehicles.

“This is proven technology, with these electric vehicles operating in ports in the Middle East and Africa. The batteries can be swapped out. They have a 12-hour capability pulling full loads and spare batteries will be on charge ready to swap in for uninterrupted operation.

“CentrePort currently moves approximately 100,000 TEU containers per annum and those volumes are forecast to grow as we support Kiwi businesses exporting and importing cargo. This move helps make the logistics supply chain more environmentally friendly and efficient,” said Thompson.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Daran Ponter said that it great to see CentrePort adopting electric technology in its day-to-day operations.

The new electric fleet is the part of a range of initiatives by CentrePort to reduce carbon emissions including its CentreRail network (in partnership with KiwiRail) and the company‘s waste minimisation programme.

Technical specifications of the Automotive Prime Mover (APM) 75T

  • Towing capacity: 75 tonnes

  • Length: 5.9 metres

  • Width: 2.55 metres

  • Height: 3.55 metres

  • Maximum speed: 35 km/h

  • Maximum speed fully loaded: 24 km/h

  • Battery pack: Solid-state battery Lithium Metal Polymer with eight-year life cycle.

  • Battery capability: 12 hours pulling full loads. 

A video supplied by Gaussin of the APM 75T being put through its paces can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtkLT7dSAPY