"Getting some of the world’s biggest electric vehicles onto Australian roads
could be a long haul.
Major vehicle manufacturers delivered a convoy of battery-powered trucks to
Australia this week, with the new generation of zero-emission prime movers and
light-duty delivery vehicles attracting thousands of visitors to the Brisbane
Industry experts say the heavy-duty vehicles, weighing as much as 44 tonnes,
are cheaper to run, will cut air and noise pollution, and will help Australia
meet its climate targets.
But many of these electric trucks are not allowed beyond the exhibition’s walls
and will remain out of reach for freight companies until Australia changes
weight and size restrictions.
Without changes, they say, Australians may be forced to wait another 20 years
for brands to design trucks specifically for our market.
Pollution-cutting trucks on show at the Brisbane event, which is expected to
attract 40,000 visitors, include Hyundai’s Mighty Electric Truck that can carry
loads for up to 200km, the Hino 300 hybrid electric truck, and two heavy-duty
trucks from Volvo Group, its FM and FH Electric models.
The big electric vehicles promise to cut carbon emissions, noise and vibration,
and could prove easier to manoeuvre as they no longer require drivers to change
But not all electric trucks are legally allowed on Australian roads. Volvo’s FH
Electric truck exceeds the country’s weight restrictions, for example, and
cannot be driven out of its Brisbane showroom.
Australian Design Rules allow trucks to carry a maximum of 6.5 tonnes over
their front axle – a restriction Volvo Group emerging technology business
development vice-president Paul Illmer says is putting the brakes on importing
prime movers being used in Europe, the UK and US.
“When it comes to heavy vehicles, Australia is a unique market where we have
very conservative legislation when it comes to front axle mass,” he said."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics