Heavy electric trucks part of latest round of Govt’s low emissions fund

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 9, 2021

Funding for seven heavy electric trucks projects have been included in the latest round of the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.

Minister for energy and resources Megan Woods announced 22 successful projects in the latest round, which is also the final round of funding under the initiative.

In total, the 22 projects will receive $6.5m in funding, with the focus investing in heavy transport and the public charging network. Recipients will contribute an additional $12.8m.

Of the seven heavy electric trucks projects, Carr & Haslam received $140,549 in funding to trial a small electric truck delivering single motor vehicles, including light EVs, in central Auckland. It aims to show that vehicle recovery from breakdowns and enforcement is possible using e-trucks in the proposed Zero Emissions Area.

The Christchurch City Council will receive $447,207 for five civil construction and maintenance service companies, which are suppliers to Christchurch City Council, using specialist battery electric trucks to perform their contracted services. It will also receive $419,026 for the Christchurch Shopping District Battery Electric Truck Delivery Services Project.

Fletcher Distribution will receive $218,420 for electric tipper trucks for construction deliveries, while Watercare will receive $500,000 for its Central Interceptor Project. Watercare will work in partnership with its contractors, the Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture, to purchase three electric trucks.

New Zealand Post will receive $239,948 for an electric Truck for NZ Post Wellington short haul deliveries, while Reliance Transport will receive $500,000 for Project SWITCH, which will see the purchase of two Scania electric trucks to help Reliance become the first fully electrified, carbon-negative on-road freight solution in New Zealand.

“So far, we only have a few dozen electric trucks on the road but innovations like battery swapping stations for e-trucks will save valuable time for truckies,” Woods said.

“It will mean they’ll be able to quickly swap in a fully charged battery to continue their journey, leaving the old battery for recharging later and at off-peak times when electricity is cheaper,” she said.

“This is exactly the kind of innovation the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund is here for, to address barriers that may be in the way of faster low-emissions transport uptake.

“The technology is advancing at pace, and I’m confident the e-truck project will demonstrate the potential for further electrification of the heavy fleet.”

Woods noted that these projects come from the final round of the LEVCF in its present form, as the Government will progressively increase the size and scope of the LEVCF to $25 million per year by 2023/24.

“Expanding the scope of the fund will not only further help us tackle transport’s climate impact, it will also encourage more growth in the low-emissions technology sector,” she said.

The fund will be renamed the Low Emissions Transport Fund, with further details to be announced by October.