EV Talk – Geoff Dobson November 27, 2019
New Zealand’s first long-haul EV road freighter has been launched on November 27 at Auckland’s Eden Park by Alsco NZ.
The company, which provides linen, uniforms, floorcare, hygiene and first aid products, consumables and other rental services to more than 27,000 Kiwi businesses, will use the heavy EV for transporting such goods about 286km daily between Taupo, Rotorua and Tauranga.
Energy and resources minister Megan Woods, climate change minister James Shaw, Taupo mayor David Trewavas and other representatives attended the launch ceremony, along with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) chief executive Andrew Caseley.
Alsco NZ received $50,126 towards the project in January from the low emission vehicles contestable fund administered by EECA.
“This will test the performance of EV technology in the freight sector,” Woods says.
The launch sent a message to the business community about the financial and environmental advantages of using a new class of EV transport.
“The transport industry and wider business will be most interested in the comparative capex and opex figures of a heavy EV compared to a diesel,” Alsco Group general manager Mark Roberts says.
“By adapting the build, and our operational model slightly, we are looking to demonstrate that the new EV technology is financially viable. That it is potentially a game-changer. It is an exciting step for Alsco, and for the heavy transport industry.”
Based on a Hino GH 1828 with an electric SEA-Drive 180 power system, the freighter weighs about 22.5 tonnes full, has 200km range, provides 372kW maximum power and 3500Nm torque, saves an estimated $49,740 in annual operational costs (no road user charge, halves maintenance and saves 25,000 litres of diesel and 67,610 kg of CO2 a year).
Alsco also advocates how wider business can better support regions by adopting cleaner and more financially viable transport options.
Converting a third of its fleet of 350, including 15 diesel freighters, to EVs and eliminating coal as an energy source are among four key sustainability goals Alsco NZ has through to 2030.
Shaw says the transition to a more climate constrained world will be one of the greatest drivers of innovation, the launch providing a classic example. READ MORE