Record investment in low emissions vehicles announced

9 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 22, 2019

Low emission transport will receive a record boost totalling more than $11 million. The funding is made up of $4.3 million of government co-funding and $7.3 million of funds from the private sector.

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said this round of funding from the Government‘s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund was the largest round of new funding yet. It focuses on 31 innovative projects that expand the use and possibilities of electric vehicles and other low emissions technology in the transport space.

“It‘s about making new technology available to help Kiwis get around, lower our carbon emissions and contribute to our economy,” she said.

“From 100% electric campervans for tourists to hydrogen fuel cell powered buses at the Ports of Auckland to solar panel charged electric vehicles and trial of smart chargers in people‘s homes, we‘re backing new technologies that will make a difference.

“We‘re also funding a further 34 new public charging spaces for electric vehicles right around New Zealand, including several at South Island tourism hot-spots. This is about creating a truly national infrastructure of EV charging so that all major trips around our country are available to EV users.”

Woods said this was by far the biggest round of new projects delivered by the fund. In total, the fund has committed $17.2 million in government funding to 93 projects, which was matched by more than $45 million applicant funding.

“Transport is responsible for about 18% of New Zealand‘s total greenhouse gas emissions, so one of the most effective ways for us to help tackle climate change is to transition our fossil-fuelled transport fleet to run on clean, renewable energy sources.”

Projects approved in the latest round include the following:

Foodstuffs New Zealand $379,600

Foodstuffs NZ will add four 100% electric trucks to its existing fleet, two each on delivery routes in the North and South Islands. There will be two 6 tonne and two 11 tonne trucks using a standard Isuzu ‘glider‘ cab and chassis fitted with batteries, motor and additional electrics. This will demonstrate to the Foodstuffs business and wider public the environmental and financial benefits of transitioning to low carbon transport options.

Alsco NZ $50,126

Alsco will invest in an electric vehicle freighter as part of an electric vehicle feasibility trial for Alsco‘s long haul commercial fleet. The freighter will run daily on the Rotorua/Tauranga and Rotorua/Taupo routes – approximately 286km a day. This will be the first intercity heavy electric vehicle trial in New Zealand. Alsco will take steps to manage the new technology, allowing an hour‘s charging at each depot and altered driver hours. The trial will run from July 2019 to July 2020.

TR Group $350,000

TR Group will purchase three curtainsider freight trucks and make them available for hire to the general freight market. Appropriate charging infrastructure will be installed at its Auckland yard and TR Group will work with customers to build their own. The vehicles will be promoted in the general freight market, enabling the logistics sector to try the technology first-hand at low risk. TR Group will also support development of maintenance resources for the trucks.

Ports of Auckland Ltd $250,000

As part of its hydrogen fuel demonstration project, Ports of Auckland together with its partners (Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and KiwiRail) will procure hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (EECA funding goes toward one bus and up to three cars) that will be used and tested as part of the wider hydrogen demonstration project in Auckland. The project is reliant on the completion of Ports of Auckland‘s separately funded hydrogen plant project, expected to be completed in December 2019. The project will be undertaken in collaboration with project partners with each party testing the viability of the fuel cell vehicles for their needs.

PPCS $178,550

PPCS will buy a 10m3 electric rubbish truck to service Wellington City Council for 40 housing sites, covering 3000 to 4000 residences. Replacing a diesel truck, this will be the first fully electric rubbish truck in Wellington. PPCS sees the electric truck as a major step towards their target of replacing 70% of their fleet of 60 vehicles by 2025, based in locations from Whangarei to Christchurch.

ContainerCo (NZL) Ltd $99,700

ContainerCo will introduce an electric heavy vehicle to its logistics terminals in Auckland and Tauranga to move shipping containers to port, rail and customers. These routes operate through dense urban areas during the day with peak traffic. By introducing electric heavy vehicles into this section of the supply chain, ContainerCo could convert a significant percentage of the container movements in Auckland and Tauranga to electric, reducing noise and emissions.

DHL Express (New Zealand) Ltd $62,685

DHL Express will purchase three LDV EV80 electric vans to be used as a pilot in the express courier industry. One van will operate from each of the main distribution depots – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. A charger will be installed at each depot. The trial is part of DHL‘s target to pick up and deliver 70% of shipments using clean solutions by 2025. Each van will be driven by a number of drivers, building experience across a range of drivers, and increasing the visibility of electric vehicles in the express courier industry.

Alsco NZ $87,000

Alsco will run a one-year trial and evaluation of three SEA Electric E4V commercial vans to prove their suitability for the service industry. Vans will operate in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. These highly visible electric vehicles will typically operate five days a week, stopping around 50 times a day. Alsco operates a fleet of 340 vehicles nationwide, and will use the trial‘s results in the decision-making for the future replacement of ten vans per year.

VTNZ battery and charging $26,000

VTNZ will test the reliability and affordability of a method for testing EV battery condition and/or charging infrastructure performance and safety, helping to advance the knowledge and skills needed to develop an EV battery servicing market in New Zealand. VTNZ will leverage the experience of their parent company in Germany to develop a test for New Zealand conditions. The test would provide the buyer of a second-hand electric vehicle with confidence in battery condition, life expectancy and charging ability and safety.