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Electrifying 2023 Brisbane Truck Show line-up looms

After a tough 2021 due to multiple COVID restrictions, 2023 promises to be business as usual at the Brisbane Truck Show (BTS).

HDrive 49T
HDrive 49T

Longstanding exhibitors are eager to return and showcase their new developments at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from Thursday 18th until Sunday 21st of May.

Plenty of manufacturers, driven by record demand, are promoting electrification as the future of heavy vehicle transportation in Australia, with this year’s BTS promising the biggest-yet showing of new models from OEMs such as Mercedes, DAF, Kenworth and Volvo, as well as conversions from companies such as SEA Electric.

The rise of online shopping will see freight volumes increase 35 per cent by 2040, according to Australia’s Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

HDrive dual-control waste truck
HDrive dual-control waste truck

At the same time, the Australian government is committed to net zero by 2050, with a 43 per cent cut below 2005 levels by 2030. Whichever way you look at it, the industry is at a crossroads.

Though most manufacturers are gearing their efforts towards electrification, some are focusing on hydrogen electric or hydrogen combustion as a better solution to heavy vehicle decarbonisation.

Regardless, for manufacturers to win over operators it is imperative for charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure to be available.

Here are a few exhibitors SightGlass will be keeping an eye on at BTS 2023:

Stand 44, Hall 4: Daimler

Mercedes-Benz Trucks will be extensively trialling four eActros battery electric trucks in Australia, to see how this European-developed model manages in hotter climates.

Mercedes eEconic
Mercedes eEconic

The eActros has a claimed range of 500km, a 330kW twin motor drivetrain and optional quad 448kWh lithium-ion battery packs. 

Mercedes will also be displaying the eEconic truck favoured by councils for quiet urban operation, especially with waste collection. The hydrogen fuel cell GenH2 truck, based on the Actros but modified to hold 80kg of hydrogen and said to provide an impressive long haul range of 1000km, will also be at BTS.

We also suspect just like in 2021, the popular eCanter truck should make an appearance at Stand 44 with some next-generation features. The eCanter was the first OEM electric truck in Australia, paving the way for other concepts that followed. It has gained fleet popularity and is also used by Coles, Bunnings and soon by Australia post, which just recently placed an order for 20 of them. 

Stand 40, Hall 4: Paccar 

For something different, check out DAF’s XF H2 truck that burns green hydrogen using a combustion engine. DAF suggests this will eliminate the need for large storage systems by utilising existing fuel station infrastructure.

Kenworth ZECT and FCEV
Kenworth ZECT and FCEV

Kenworth will likely showcase two new trucks, including the ZECT (Zero Emission Cargo Transport) which features a 396kWh battery. It produces 400kW and, depending on load, has a range of up to 241km with charging taking three hours. Also on Stand 40 will be Kenworth’s T680 FCEV, which uses a Toyota hydrogen fuel cell to drive its 350kW electric powertrain, offering a range of 560km and 15-minute refuel time. 

Stand 57, Hall 1: SEA Electric 

Creators of the first Aussie 100 per cent electrically powered truck, the SEA 300, based on the Hino 300, are expected to show off this model alongside the larger SEA 500 at Stand 57. The trucks are propelled by SEA Electric’s proprietary SEA-Drive power systems, providing capacities of 103kWh through to 138kWh, which offer unladen ranges up to 300km.

SEA 300
SEA 300

Stand 49, Hall 3: Volvo Group Australia

Volvo plans to build electric trucks at its Brisbane facility by 2027 and currently offers two imported battery-powered models in Australia, the FE Electric, a 225kW rigid with 200km range, as well as the 130kW FL Electric, a medium-duty truck that offers 300km of range.

Volvo FL Electric

Volvo is renowned for its forward environmental thinking, so we will be checking them out on stand 49.

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