The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has allocated $20.1 million of funding to Team Global Express (TGE), in addition to the logistics firm’s own AU$24.2m investment, to deploy 60 electric trucks.
A fleet of 24 Daimler Fuso eCanters and 36 Volvo eFLs (Volvo’s largest ever e-truck order) will be added to TGE’s fleet, along with all associated charging infrastructure at its Bungarribee depot.
This ‘depot of the future’ project will test how integrating battery electric vehicles within a diesel logistics fleet will impact management, delivery routing, infrastructure requirements and costs. It is hoped to help address some of the barriers to adoption and show that transition from diesel to electric is possible. ARENA’s funding will assist with the e-trucks’ up-front costs, which can be three times more than diesel equivalents.
TGE group CEO Christine Holgate said: “This is the first project of its scale in Australian logistics, as such we are in a unique position to work closely with ARENA to share the knowledge we gain and provide this vital information for the benefit of the entire transport and logistics sector.”
The eCanters and eFLs will be phased in over the next 18 months, giving TGE Australia’s biggest e-truck fleet. They will make up about a third of the Bungarribee depot’s trucks, and be used in urban and residential Sydney locations where EVs can best take advantage of regenerative braking while reducing noise pollution and eliminating emissions. Charging will partially be topped-up using on-site solar energy plus a battery storage system and renewable grid energy.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “We expect the project will provide valuable insights into the costs and operational aspects of transitioning its wider fleet to zero emissions vehicles. Importantly, our goal is for the heavy vehicle industry to learn from this project as others consider their transition pathway.”