The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) is insisting upon urgent reform through a policy agreement to help usher in a new era of electric trucks in Australia.
In partnership with the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the EVC has made a number of recommendations to drive greater uptake of electrification for trucking businesses and supply chains.
Electrification, it contends, would end volatile diesel costs, reduce maintenance costs and improve urban efficiency while delivering better conditions for truck drivers.
Australia currently lags most of the world in the electrification of trucks making the need for reform urgent according to the EVC.
Of the 58 electric truck models available in North America, Europe, and China only 14 are available to the Australian market.
Key recommendations from the new EVC/ATA policy agreement include exempting electric trucks from urban curfews, changing Australian weight and width limits to accommodate batteries, and exempting electric trucks form stamp duty.
“Every government in Australia has committed to net-zero, but this can’t be achieved without decarbonising the transport sector,” said Behyad Jafari, Electric Vehicle Council CEO.
“Curfew-free operations are a huge opportunity, creating benefits for operators optimising fleet operations and to the community through reducing peak hour traffic and congestion,” he said.
Australian Trucking Association Chair, David Smith said electric power will be a game changer for the industry.
“It costs about $117 to fuel a diesel truck for 300 kilometres, but just $18 for an electric truck,” he said.
Smith said that Australia risked being left behind on the transition to electric and zero emission trucks, which would further jeopardise supply chains and leave exporters stuck with high, globally uncompetitive per km freight costs.
“Trucking operators face a number of barriers to buy and use an electric truck and these must be addressed to lower freight costs, improve fuel security and reduce emissions,” he said.
For Jafari and other advocates of alternate fossil fuel technology governments can never act fast enough.
He urged the government to read the recommendations outlined by the EVC and ATA.
“If we implement them swiftly the benefits to Australian trucking, our economy, and our environment will be truly massive,” he said.
“The AdBlue shortage crisis was a potent warning about our extreme fuel insecurity. Why should Australia be dependent on China and the Middle East to keep itself moving when we could be using homegrown power? Being able to power our supply chains with local electricity is a surely a national sovereignty imperative.”
China, however, is currently considered the world’s leading battery manufacturer.