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Brisbane Truck Show 2023 reveals well worth checking out

The Brisbane Truck Show 2023 (BTS23) is almost upon us, from May 18-21 we can expect some exciting reveals that should interest VASA members.

Among the exhibits will be Carrier’s new carbonless cooling system, HDrive’s autonomous yard truck and the Australian debut of the eActros, the first all-electric truck from Mercedes-Benz.

The next VASA SightGlass magazine will include a news feature direct from the floor of the Brisbane Truck Show.

Carrier: Stand 73, Great Hall

Carrier will present a selection of its newest electrified, environmentally friendly, and temperature-controlled transport units. Their stand showcases Carrier’s all-electric engineless refrigerated trailer system.

“We believe the Vector eCool represents the future of refrigerated trailer technology,” said Victor Calvo, president of Carrier.

Martin Brower Australia and New Zealand, which has a fleet of more than 110 Carrier units, seems to agree as it has just announced the commission of its first trailer to use Carrier Vector eCool refrigeration system.

Rolling out Vector eCool units across its refrigerated fleet will help reduce Martin Brower emissions on delivery routes and reach its global environmental targets of 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, and net zero by 2050.

The Vector eCool combines Carrier’s E-Drive all-electric technology with a new energy recovery and storage system.

To power the refrigerator on the road, a generator transforms the kinetic energy from the trailer axle when travelling above 20 km/h into electricity, as well as when braking, which is then stored in a 19.2KWh battery pack providing up to six hours worth of run time. When the trailer is parked, the eCool system can also be plugged into the grid and will charge the batteries completely in as little as two hours.

Because of this, the Vector eCool produces no direct carbon dioxide (CO2) or particulate emissions, whilst reducing weight, as even with the battery pack and axle generator fitted it is still substantially lighter than a typical diesel unit. 

When used with City versions of the Vector HE 19 and Vector 1550 E, the PIEK-compliant Vector eCool produces operating noise below 60 dB(A), making it ideal for fleets making frequent night-time deliveries to stores in residential areas and as a response to ever-tightening inner-city emissions restrictions.

HDrive: Stand 130, Great Hall

HDrive, the exclusive Australasian distributor for the Wisdom Motor range of zero-emission vehicles, will be showcasing its cockpit-less autonomous yard truck, designed for ports and based on commercial vehicle architecture. 

The battery-electric L4 Autonomous Tractor aims to revolutionise port logistics operations, where it already has a proven track record moving containers at Chinese ports. The L4 is designed to replace traditional magnetic spike automated guided vehicles at a claimed one-third of the cost, due to its versatility and compatibility with both new and older ports.

The L4 uses micro radar sensors and video technology to offer all-weather sensing and centimetre-precision vehicle control. Featuring a cutting-edge 5G self-learning autopilot system, the L4 is said to analyse dynamic environments and react accordingly.

Measuring six metres long, 2.5m wide and 1.9m high, the L4 weighs in at 6500kg. It has a braking distance at 30 km/h of less than 10 metres and is powered by a 130kW electric.

A149KWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack has a claimed range of 46 km at full 75-tonne load and 75 km at 45-tonne (half load). HDrive claims the L4 has a charging time of just one hour at 150kW, making it almost always ready for work.

Daimler: Stand 44, Hall 4

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has confirmed the all-electric eActros will be publicly revealed for the first time in Australia at the Brisbane Truck Show.

The eActros has a claimed range of 500km, a 330kW twin-motor drivetrain and optional quad 448kWh lithium-ion battery packs, it is designed for heavy-duty short-distance distribution, and since 2018, it has been in service on a few European fleets.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific director Andrew Assimo said: “We can’t wait to present this incredible heavy-duty electric truck to the public in Brisbane. The local debut of the eActros represents the start of a new chapter for sustainable road transport in our region and the excitement around this vehicle is incredible.“

Mercedes-Benz Trucks will soon launch a local validation program for the eActros, with the deployment of four trucks in Australia and one in New Zealand in order to guarantee the specification is appropriate for the Australasian environment and also to verify it satisfies the demands of regional customers.

In Australia, Daimler Trucks, which unites Mercedes Trucks under its umbrella, already has a lot of experience with electric vehicles.

When Fuso launched the ground-breaking eCanter here in 2021, it was the first manufacturer to commercialise an electric truck Down Under and has since been adopted by Bunnings, Tooheys, Coles, Centurion, Goldstar, Linfox, Australia Post and Team Global Express.

This is being followed up with the next-generation Canter (pictured above), which will also be presented for the first time in Australia at the Brisbane Truck Show featuring increased battery range, additional safety features, a fresh interior and revised exterior design, as well as a broader line-up encompassing different wheelbases, weight ratings and a choice of city cab or wide cab models.

Isuzu: Stand 53

While no local release date has been set, Isuzu Australia has confirmed its first battery electric truck – the N-Series-based ELF BEV – will be available to order soon and be on display at the Brisbane Truck Show.

To provide compatibility, Isuzu says the battery-electric models will share as many body layouts as possible with diesel models, facilitating refuse collection, aerial work and even a walk-through van by 2024.

Standard-cab models will have two battery packs with a capacity of 40kWh, the high-cab model will have three battery packs with a capacity of 60kWh, and the wide-cab model will have five battery packs with a capacity of 100kWh.

“Never before seen in the country, the Isuzu EV platform represents a cornerstone in the future of volume production, light-duty, pick-up and last-mile delivery trucking in Australia,” said Isuzu Australia chief of strategy Grant Cooper.

The broader N-Series/ELF range has had its first significant update since 2007 and will now include new safety tech as well as significant design changes.

Upgraded safety systems and driver assistance features include a full-speed range adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring system and pre-collision braking system, which are firsts for a Japanese light-duty truck.

The truck will also have an entirely new interior layout with more room around the driver’s seat, along with a driver status monitor.

For those who are not ready to make the jump to battery electric just yet, diesel ELF variants also feature new powertrain technology.

This includes a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission designed to keep engine revs low for fuel efficiency, whilst enabling quick gear changes, reducing torque loss and noise levels when paired with the 3.0L 4JZ1 diesel engine.

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