More trucks, more components, more people, more to celebrate, unveil and enjoy – Brisbane Truck Show 2023 had it all.

It feels like just the other day that we reported on the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show – the sense of ‘time flying’ probably resulting from the world having overcome “the new normal” and returning to its pre-Covid ways. While the running of the 2021 show had been in doubt, there were no such concerns this year.

In fact, the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show set new standards for the event, with a record 16 truck OEMs representing some 23 brands. Of the mainstream OEMs, only Scania opted out this year, instead choosing to run its own Australian roadshow. Nonetheless, there was certainly plenty to take in between the main show and the adjoining festivities at the South Bank Truck Festival, the Heritage Truck Show at the Rocklea Showgrounds (look out for this in the July issue of New Zealand Trucking) and the Heavy Equipment & Machinery Show.

Covering all three floors of the Brisbane Convention Centre, the main show set a new attendance record, with more than 40,000 people walking through the doors of the Brisbane Convention Centre – and you couldn’t turn around without bumping into another Kiwi!

Significantly, the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show also featured the biggest showcase of zero-emission vehicles ever assembled under the one roof in region. But you’ll be happy to know internal combustion was not pushed out of the spotlight entirely.

The OEMs

A mildly unfamiliar face to local enthusiasts of the Bug, but one with significant implications on the future.


As usual, the PACCAR stand was packed with Kenworth and DAF models of all shapes and sizes, but there were two specific vehicles from each brand stealing the PACCAR show this year.

After its launch last year, the K220 made its show debut, and Kenworth took full advantage to present the latest in a five-decade line of its iconic cabover models. Unsurprisingly, the K220 was one of the most clambered-over vehicles on the PACCAR stand, proudly boasting its “Truck of the Year Australasia 2023” decals after having been named the winning truck on the show’s opening morning (see article for the full story).

The DAF brand was not left behind, though, with the striking, all-new DAF XG+ showing the future for this brand in the region. Significantly, this particular XG+ featured a discreet ‘660HP’ badge on its grille, something buyers in other regional markets will not have encountered before. That’s because, in a move exclusive to Australasia, it will feature the Next Generation Cummins X15D at 660hp.

“The PACCAR Australia engineering team is working in partnership with Cummins and PACCAR; the DAF XG+ 15L project is the biggest undertaking in DAF Trucks Australia’s history. It’s the best of Europe, made for Australia,” says PACCAR Australia’s director sales and marketing, Michael Long.

The new DAF is already delivering a 6% fuel economy improvement and coupled with a next-generation 15L engine is showing 8-15% efficiency gains in testing. The final product will achieve a 97-tonne GCM with the addition of Airglide suspension and Meritor axles.

Australian market release and production alongside Kenworth and existing DAF models in the PACCAR Australia Bayswater plant are scheduled for 2024.

“Creating a product that can optimise every aspect of Australia’s unique operating parameters is a difficult challenge, particularly when starting with a base product canvas that has been designed predominantly for the European marketplace. We are so excited to be able to take the opportunity to preview the foundation of what we believe will be the most productive European Truck in the world,” says Long.

PACCAR also previewed its take on alternative propulsion, with a Kenworth T680 fuel-cell electric vehicle and DAF LF Electric showing the way of the future. The T680 FCEV is one of 10 used at the Port of LA. PACCAR Australia took delivery at the end of last year to start evaluating it in partnership with Deakin University’s regional Hydrogen Technology Hub, Hycel, to research how the unique demands of the Australian transport industry interact with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle and the surrounding ecosystem.

The T680 FCEV offers a 36,700kg GCM. Power comes from twin Toyota hydrogen fuel cells that offer 230kW peak power (180kW continuous). These integrate with a 12kWh Li-Ion battery and power a 470kW (630hp) peak/300kW (402hp) continuous electric drive motor with 2000Nm. An Eaton four-speed HD EV transmission sends this power to the wheels. Range is up to 480km from the 60kg hydrogen capacity.

The DAF LF Electric alongside showed what might come for metro operators. It runs a 254kWh battery pack powering a 259kW continuous (370kW peak)/1900Nm electric motor and offers a range of up to 280km. It sits on a 5.85m wheelbase and offers 19,000kg GVM.

“We’re unbiased about which is the appropriate technology for Australian transport needs, but we expect hydrogen to play a larger part in Australia than in some other markets. Customers are seeking a trusted partner to guide them into the future with these technologies; that’s what we plan to be,” says Ross Cureton, director of product planning for DAF and Kenworth.


This was the third Brisbane Truck Show with Daimler exhibiting some form of electric product, and it’s clearly only just getting into its stride.

Headlining the Mercedes-Benz product display were the brand’s first heavy-duty electric trucks for Australia and New Zealand – the eActros and eEconic. “Both are designed specifically for their targeted applications with fully integrated drivelines and e-axles that also feature a two-speed automated transmission,” says Andrew Assimo, vice president Mercedes-Benz Trucks at Daimler Truck Australia Pacific (DTAP). We’ll support our customers with e-services to facilitate the adoption of sustainable transportation.” Regional validation will begin soon to ensure the specification is tailored to the unique conditions of Australia and New Zealand.

The eActros 300 4×2 is powered by two integrated electric motors offering 330kW continuous and 400kW peak power. Its three 112kWh battery packs combine to offer 336kWh and up to 300km range. GVW is 19,000kg, and the wheelbase is 5500mm. The eEconic 300 6×2 offers similar battery, power and range specification. It weighs in at 27-tonne on a 4000mm wheelbase.

“Their arrival marks the start of local validation and pre-sales activities, working with selected operators, our dealer network and the broader industry to set up and prepare these vehicles for our conditions down under,” Assimo says.

Not forgetting its mainstream diesel-powered range, Mercedes-Benz also celebrated 25 years of the Actros in Australia with a limited-release Actros 25 Driver Edition.

Stephen Downes, vice president Freightliner Trucks at DTAP, says Freightliner remains committed to “setting the benchmark for innovation and technology in heavy-duty trucks”. The stand featured models from the 116 36in B-double to the flagship 126 60in raised roof in full road train spec.

“We believe every truck on the road should be equipped with the latest safety features. Freightliner is still the only conventional truck manufacturer in Australia to offer a driver airbag as standard and an optional B-pillar airbag,” Downes says.

It’s hard to believe the Fuso eCanter made its Brisbane Truck Show debut in 2017, and this year, Daimler Truck Australia Pacific showcased the Next Generation eCanter. As Alex Müller, vice president Fuso Truck and Bus Australia, put it: “The Next Generation eCanter is an example of how quickly EV technology can advance.”

Displayed in short-wheelbase narrow-cab and extra-long-wheelbase wide-cab variants, the Next Generation eCanter will be available in New Zealand late in 2024. As we covered in our February 2023 issue, the Next Generation eCanter delivers a wider range of weight ratings, wheelbases and cab sizes. It boasts three different battery pack sizes and, critically, an e-axle motor assembly.

Also on show was the newly developed Shogun 510 tipper, the only Japanese tipper with more than 500hp in the market. “This hero model has helped to put Shogun on more shopping lists than ever before,” says Müller.

Volvo Group Australia

VGA’s main aim at the show this year was to showcase sustainability, with all products on display powered by hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), claimed to result in a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The bright and bold paint scheme of the FH16 XXL not only attracted fans of the Volvo brand, but also represented the flow of air around that vehicle as it moves down the road. However, it was the first FM Electric in the region that was the real highlight for the brand. It will soon enter on-road trials in Queensland. For full details on the new FH and FM Electric in the region, see article.

Mack, which in 2023 celebrates 60 years of manufacturing in Brisbane, showcased the Anthem featuring a 36in walkthrough sleeper. However, it was the Super-Liner with its new, fully integrated 70in walkthrough sleeper that had big presence on the stand. It’s the biggest cab Mack offers, with full head height at the driver’s seat. Tom Chapman, vice president Mack Trucks Australia, says the 70in sleeper fits within the extra metre allowed now in Australian road train legislation. The first 70in sleeper vehicles are expected to be delivered to customers in the last quarter of 2024.

The UD brand was also celebrating, with 50 years of UD in Australia. Product-wise, the Quon CG 8×4 agitator on display was a world first for UD, being the first CG Quon 8×4 agitator with the ESCOT AMT. It also launched new safety features that will be standard across the Quon range, including a driver monitoring system and blind-spot information system to detect moving vehicles and road users 13m to the rear and 7m to the front of the vehicle.

Another world-first was the CG 8×4 with an extra-long 6400mm wheelbase. This locally engineered solution is the first 16-pallet curtainsider for UD trucks.


With an entirely new product range from the MAN and Western Star brands, the Penske stand looked very different from shows gone by. The new MAN Truck Generation launched last year with three models represented the range: the 12-tonne TGL powered by the 250hp D08 Euro-5 SCR-only engine, the 26-tonne TGX powered by the 13L D26 Euro-5d engine, and the TGX 26.640 with the 15L 640hp Euro-6e engine and super- spacious GX cab.

However, as striking as the new Truck Generation MAN trio was, the showstopping side of the Penske stand wore the Western Star badge. Launched in November last year, the new X-Series was on display with the 47X, 48X and 49X with 72in Stratosphere sleeper cab.

Craig Lee, executive general manager of on-highway, Penske Australia, says the new X-Series presented an opportunity to build on the brand’s reputation. “We designed it from the ground up to be lighter and more durable. Over $100 million was invested, and the new range was developed over six years with extensive testing that concluded with validation testing in Australia.”

The 47X is billed as highly versatile and has a short, sloped bonnet that yields payload flexibility, a set-back front axle, up to 72.5-tonnes GCM and comes in either a 6×4 or 8×4 configuration with the choice of Cummins or Detroit power.

Exclusive to the Australian market, the 48X is powered by the Detroit DD13 Gen 5 or DD16 engine, is available to over 130-tonne GCM, features a set-forward front axle, has a bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) measurement of 2870mm (113in) and a choice of four sleeper cabs.

The showstopping 49X is powered by the Detroit DD16, offers GCM capability of more than 200 tonnes, and is available with multiple cabin options, including the largest cab on the Australian market, the 72in Stratosphere sleeper.

S-Way 550 is the Aussie-market big-hitter.


The IVECO stand featured new products from the brand shown to the public in Australia for the first time. The headliner was the new S-Way in 550hp B-double spec, rated at 70-tonne GCM. It was joined by a 460hp Active Time variant, ideal for semi-trailer urban and intercity work.

“S-Way provides operators with an attractive array of safety, performance, comfort and productivity bundled into lower cost of ownership – and all wrapped up in what we think is the best-looking cabover truck in the region. Early feedback has been overwhelming. Drivers like the quiet cab and efficiency from the 13L Cursor engine and 16-speed transmission combination,” comments Michael May, managing director of IVECO Australia and New Zealand.

The new T-Way takes over from the Trakker range and was displayed in 4×4 guise. “T-Way sits mid-way between our highway product and the smaller Eurocargo 4×4. It shares the S-Way’s advanced adaptive technology and features a new dual-speed transmission and hub reduction all round.”

Making its debut in the region, the IVECO e-Daily showed what the brand has coming with alternative power. A 111kWh battery powers a 140kW/400Nm electric drive motor. The e-Daily’s chassis rail system enables a modular battery system for the best payload potential and range of up to 300km.

“This e-Daily will enter local testing after the show. We’re excited to dive into alternative drive research with customers, partners and tertiary institutions – this is a critical link to bring new people into our industry as we enter a new phase of propulsion and energy,” May says.

Isuzu’s N-Series EV hints at things to come in looks and propulsion.

And more…

The centrepieces on the Hyundai, Isuzu, Hino and Foton stands were all electrified.

Hyundai launched its first EV to the market at the show, the Mighty Electric. A 4×2 light-duty vehicle, it’s rated at 7.3 tonnes with a payload of about 3.5 tonnes. Power comes from a 120kW, 320Nm electric motor. The 114.5kWh battery can be charged from 8% to 100% in 71 minutes on a DC rapid charger. Range is quoted at 200km, based on real-world testing in New South Wales. The Mighty Electric boasts all the active and passive safety features of its ICE brethren, such as dual airbags, lane departure warning and forward collision-avoidance assist. It is backed by a five-year/200,000km warranty (including the motor) with an eight-year/400,000km battery warranty.

Catching attention on the Isuzu stand, with its striking new face hinting at Isuzu’s future, was the brand’s N-Series EV, revealed in Japan in March. Displayed in Japanese domestic market spec, it’s showing was one of its first appearances outside Japan or North America. The model is significant as it’s the first factory-developed, battery-electric production model from Isuzu. It was displayed with two 20kWh battery packs, and Isuzu Trucks has developed the battery spec to be modular, offering up to five battery packs. While the truck is already on the road in Japan, local validation for Australian spec development will start later this year.

The Hino Hybrid Electric 300 Series headlined the Hino stand. While the model has been around for 15 years, it has moved from a niche offering to a genuine purchasing option for many fleets, says Hino Australia vice president of brand and franchise development, Richard Emery.


A new niche for Sea Electric

SEA Electric

Founded more than a decade ago and having launched its first commercial product in 2017, the rise of SEA Electric as a producer of EV trucks has been nothing short of inspiring. The company made full use of the show to prove it’s here to stay. Its all-electric trucks – the SEA 45e, SEA 85e, and SEA 225e – were all on the stand, joined by an intriguing Toyota Hilux EV conversion developed for the mining sector. This was the two-wheel-drive version, with a four-wheel drive due to start testing in the spring. SEA targets 8500 units of the Hilux or similar models in the first five years.

However, the headline launch at the show for the OEM wasn’t another vehicle but the full suite of enhanced safety functions known as SEA driver assistance system (SEA-DAS). The active and passive safety features include vehicle stability control, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, traction control, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), dual SRS airbags and dual SRS seatbelt pre-tensioners. Additional options will be announced in the future.

“The active and passive systems of the model line-up make the SEA Electric range an even safer workplace and perfectly complement the many advantages of our all-electric platform,” says Tony Fairweather, SEA Electric founder and CEO.

While not at the show, at the ACT Expo just two weeks before Brisbane, SEA Electric unveiled its next-generation SEA-Drive 250 RE power system. Created for zero-emission vehicles operating above 20-tonne GVM, it comprises a 250kW battery electric drive system with an optional 30kW or 40kW hydrogen fuel-cell range extender.

Janus JCM540 conversion module: a drop-in replacement for diesel engines.

Janus Electric

Janus Electric has evolved in leaps and bounds since we saw it at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show. The stand was abuzz, with Janus co-founder Lex Forsyth seemingly run off his feet with interest in the product, the star of which was the JE610.

“This is the first, fully Australian manufactured electric vehicle,” says Forsyth. “We can take any truck manufactured after 2010 and convert it to electric. This is a vehicle-agnostic solution.”

The heaviest vehicle Janus has converted so far is a 175-tonne 8×6 Volvo that tows a triple road train, but the JE610 is impressive in its own right. Based on a 2021 Kenworth T610, the JE610 includes Janus’ exchangeable battery solution – 620kWh lithium NMC batteries that offer a 300km to 600km range depending on combination, GCM and operation. The Janus exchangeable battery solution means batteries can be swapped in four minutes, eliminating the need to park up and charge.

“We went straight away from the initial under-bonnet battery concept [shown in 2021] to the side-mount batteries. It involved less modification, and there now isn’t four tonnes of weight over the front axle. It’s about making it more adaptable, a common platform that can work across all trucks in this class.”

JE610 weighs in at 12.5- tonne tare and boats a 110-tonne GCM. Power is from a 540kW (720hp), 2500Nm electric motor and 16-speed automatic gearbox combination. The ancillaries are housed with these to create the JCM540 (for Janus conversion module). A PTO can be optioned.

“Think of it as a crate motor with a transmission attached,” says Forsyth. “It’s about 950mm shorter than a Cummins with an 18-speed.”

For a full report on Janus Electric, see the April 2023 issue of New Zealand Trucking.

Hyzon’s 110kW 500-cell fuel-cell system.


Hydrogen fuel-cell company Hyzon Motors made the public unveiling of its first locally manufactured, designed and engineered truck – a heavy rigid side-loading garbage truck that will go into operation in Wollongong. The 110kW 500-cell fuel-cell system that powers it sat proudly on display alongside.

The performance of the Hyzon-converted Econic was benchmarked to the diesel-powered original.

It offers 270kW useable power and 2400Nm torque, driving through a four-speed integrated transmission. Range from the 25kg of hydrogen is 200km and 1500 bin lifts, and the system adds a one-tonne tare penalty, the truck weighing in at around 9000kg.

Parker Meeks, global CEO Hyzon Motors, says the company’s long-awaited cabover model is due soon and will be powered by the 200kW fuel cell released at the ACT Expo in the US two weeks earlier.

The only hint of autonomy in 2023.


HDrive, in association with Pure Hydrogen, unveiled the first hydrogen fuel-cell prime mover in Australia, the HDrive TS50-300 49-tonne prime mover. With an 11-tonne tare, 300kW hydrogen fuel cell and 73.57kWh battery, it promised a range of about “about 500km”.

Scott Brown, MD Pure Hydrogen, says the design can be configured to up to 70-tonne B-double spec. “We are a couple of months away from going into operation. The truck is designed in Australia for Australian conditions. Hydrogen certainly is the future,” he says.

HDrive also brought along the only vehicle at the show pointing to autonomy, the HDrive Autonomous Electric Tractor.

Ben Kiddle, general manager HDrive Australia, comments: “We know Australia is not ready for autonomous vehicles. The main reason to have it here is to generate discussion. There are currently 120 units operating autonomously in Chinese ports.”


The move to electrification and alternative forms of energy extended beyond the vehicles on display, with numerous component suppliers showing the way forward.

Two new coupling innovations from Jost.


Two intriguing products on the Jost stand were its Drawbar Finder and KKS Push-Button Trailer Coupling. Now available in Australia and New Zealand, the drawbar finder provides visual guidance of distance and height for precise coupling. It’s compatible with many OEM displays and can be retrofitted to Rockinger RO*50, RO*50E and RO*50BNA trailer couplings.

A completely automated coupling system, the KKS Push-Button Trailer Coupling vastly simplifies coupling a semi-trailer with control and operation being undertaken from the driver’s seat. It automatically connects the trailer air, electrics, braking and coupling through a standard ISO-certified connector and raises the landing gear using Jost’s Razor Electric landing gear system. “Coupling and uncoupling is a job a lot of people don’t like to do. It creates risk and can lead to injuries. This fully homologated system creates a lot of efficiency,” says Joachim Dürr, CEO of Jost Werke SE.


Maha grabbed attention with a Scania 25P raised in the air on a set of its 7.5-tonne wireless column lifts. These battery-powered lifts don’t operate on hydraulics but an electro- mechanical ball race on a worm drive. “It’s very efficient, with up to 35 lifts per charge,” says Mick Lauster, managing director MAHA Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands.


The next evolution of Tyremaax, Tyremaax Pro-LB (for ‘load based’) highlighted the Hendrickson stand. The system varies tyre pressures depending on the load on the trailer, between 75psi unloaded and 90psi loaded.

The result is an improved contact patch and enhanced tyre wear, in addition to what Tyremaxx typically does – such as keeping the inner and outer tyres at the same pressure.

The system reads the airbag pressure as the trailer is loaded or unloaded, and the Tyremaxx Pro-LB control box manages the tyre pressures within pre-programmed parameters.

Hendrickson says the system is about a year away from being available in New Zealand.

The Vector eCool as fitted to an FTE trailer.


The Vector eCool from Carrier combines an engineless HE19 fridge system with SAF Intradisc TRAKr axle generator and 19.2kWh battery pack for a fossil-fuel-free way to keep refrigerated goods cold. The system was installed on a trailer by Australian manufacturer FTE in a two-compartment multi-temp unit.

According to Carrier, the system is typically like for like compared with the weight of a conventional fridge. The SAF generator puts out 20kW, and the 19.2kWh battery typically lasts up to six hours when maintaining temperature. Larger batteries up to 32kWh are coming. The system can be charged and run on three-phase power when parked up.

ICE into the future.


While many suppliers focused on electrification, Cummins showed there’s plenty of life left in internal combustion. Its Next Generation fuel-agnostic 15-litre engine series was the highlight of its stand, showing the X15D (diesel), X15N (natural gas) and X15H (hydrogen combustion).

Making use of a ladder block design, composite materials and advanced manufacturing, the Next Generation offers up a 220kg weight saving over the current X15. Field trials have shown 8% better fuel consumption than the current best Euro-6 X15. At 485kW (660hp) and 3200Nm (2360lb/ft), it also offers the highest-ever output for a Cummins truck engine.

“The great thing about the Next Generation 15-litre platform is everything below the head gasket is common architecture. The differences are in the cylinder heads, air-handling and fuel supply systems,” explains Scott Alexander, manager for on-highway sales and customer support, Cummins South Pacific.

Operators can expect up to 380kW (510hp) and 2500Nm (1850lb/ft) from the X15N, and 395kW (530hp) and 2600Nm (1918lb/ft) from the X15H. The X15D is now undergoing field testing in Australia, while the X15N is being released to the US market.


The advancement of electric axle technology was clear, with all major axle suppliers showcasing an e-axle in some form – whether to power a vehicle down the road or generate power for onboard componentry.

BPW’s ePower Axle was jointly developed with Thermo King and includes two 8kW generator units. Extra weight is approximately 320kg.


Dana’s eS9000r Spicer Electrified e-Drive axle is an integrated motor, transmission, and axle power system. Designed for medium-duty truck and bus applications, it produces 237kW maximum power. System weight with disc brakes is 370kg.


The Meritor Cummins Accelera 17Xe ePowertrain is designed for heavy-duty 4×2 and 6×2 trucks. It features a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack and outputs up to 420kW continuous power (450kW peak).


The SAF Intra TRAKr offers 33kW peak power though a fluid-cooled permanent magnet synchronous motor. It has a one-speed gearbox with differential at 1:14.