Depot of the Future to deliver lower emissions
One of the biggest electric truck trials in the world will see a fleet of 60 battery-powered delivery vehicles rolled out at a major logistics depot in western Sydney.
Electric trucks could be the key to reducing emissions from heavy transport.
Battery Electric Vehicles, as they are technically termed, now have a chance to demonstrate their worth with one of the largest delivery companies in Australia.
Team Global Express (Global Express) is, with the help of ARENA, deploying 60 electric trucks to its western Sydney depot at Bungarribee.
The trial will replace almost a third of the depot’s current fleet and install onsite electric chargers and battery storage.
Dubbed the “Depot of the Future”, the Bungarribee site is strategically important to Global Express’s Sydney operations.
The $44.3 million project is supported by $20.1 million of funding from ARENA and is part of the broader Driving the Nation funding package. Driving the Nation also supports public EV and home smart charging.
“One of the world’s largest trials”
Announcing the project, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said electric trucks will be important to Australia’s future.
“This is one of the world’s largest trials of electric trucks, certainly Australia’s largest,” Mr Bowen said.
“As a Western Sydney resident, I see many, many Team Global Express trucks driving for our community.”
“Emissions will be down, running costs for Team Global Express will be down and driver satisfaction and customer satisfaction will be up,” he said.
The project will test running a fleet of small and medium rigid battery electric trucks in an urban environment.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project will help Australia to accelerate its transition towards decarbonising land transport.
“We expect the project will provide valuable insights into costs and operational aspects of transitioning their wider fleet to zero emissions vehicles.”
“Importantly, we expect the industry to learn from this project as others consider their transition pathway,” he said.
Team Global Express operates 6,500 vehicles across Australia and New Zealand. The Depot of the Future project will replace 60 of 200 “Express Parcels” vehicles based in western Sydney.
The majority, 36, of those vehicles are 16.7 tonne Volvo eFL electric trucks. The remaining 24 are lighter, 7.5 tonne Daimler Fuso eCanters.
Both types of truck will operate on a “back-to-base” model, returning to the depot for charging after delivering packages.
ARENA’s funding includes support for two types of chargers at the Bungarribee depot: 47 x 7/22kW AC and 2x 400kW DC.
Volvo says its FL trucks will fully recharge in 11 hours when connected to a 22kW AC charger. A high-power DC charger will do the job in as little as 2 hours.
Fuso, by comparison, claims AC and DC charging times of less than 5 hours and 1.5 hours respectively.
According to Australia’s Climate Change Authority, light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses account for about 7 per cent of Australia’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, while cars are responsible for closer to 8 per cent.
Combined, emissions from transport make it Australia’s third highest emissions sector. Only energy (fossil-fuel powered generators) and what is known as stationary sources (manufacturing, mining, residential and commercial fuel use), account for more.
All-electric vehicles, charged by renewable energy generators could reduce those emissions to zero.
Team Global Express Group CEO Christine Holgate described the project as a “major milestone”.
“This trial will help to reduce our scope 1 emissions profile, and that of our customers,” she said.
Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions vent to the atmosphere as a direct result of activities at a facility level. That includes emissions from the burning of diesel fuel in trucks
“Team Global Express will be in a unique position to share knowledge with government, industry partners and manufacturers,” Ms Holgate said.
Mr Miller said: “We’re excited to be working with Team Global Express in switching a significant portion of its fleet to electric vehicles at its Bungarribee depot.”
“Operating a fleet of battery electric vehicle trucks will help to address some of the key barriers to adoption, including overcoming the higher upfront purchase price, and uncertainty of integrating electric vehicles into existing operations at scale.
“Understanding these barriers will help build market confidence around BEV technology and show that transition to heavy electric vehicles is possible,” he said.
ARENA has committed more than $100 million to the transport sector since 2016. Projects include fast charging networks, home smart charging trials and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
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