The transition away from internal combustible engine (ICE) vehicles supported by a key initiative from the Commonwealth Government has been welcomed by the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).
The Future Fuels Investment Fund, a $250 million injection into the Federal Government’s Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy will usher in major investment to technology and associated policy for the freight and logistics industry.
Viewed as a key prioritisation by the VTA, the focus of the strategy is understood to include public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, commercial fleets, and household smart charging, with funds also allocated for heavy and long-distance vehicle technologies.
VTA CEO Peter Anderson said while the major manufacturers had recognised the need to include zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in their product lines, operators increasing uptake of lower emitting Euro 6 engine technology would help dramatically reduce freight and logistics emissions in the short and medium term.
“The transition towards ZEV freight vehicles has certainly increased in recent years as expectations from the community, industry and other stakeholders about lower emissions have steadily increased,” he said.
“The VTA has had a leadership role in this transition, with consistent advocacy for incentives for operators that adopt Euro 6 engine technology such as discounted registration and tolls,” Anderson continued.
“A progression of this is likely for operators that adopt zero-emission technology but not until these vehicles come down in cost and proliferate in the market.”
Anderson said many local government jurisdictions had already indicated zero-emission delivery vehicles may be granted better access to infrastructure in a push to incentivise their uptake by operators.
While it was important to transition to a future of ZEVs according to Anderson, he made it a point to acknowledge the present environment and the “terrific work” that the fuel companies and OEMs are doing to make diesel more efficient.
“Over the transition it will be important to provide the necessary support to operators to be able to economically make the switch so that our supply chains aren’t compromised by policy and regulation that prices operators out of business,” Anderson said.