Announcements Accelerate Freight Decarbonisation

A spate of announcements by Federal and State Governments over the past week are game-changing for the road transport industry and its efforts to decarbonise freight, according to the HVIA

The past five days have brought several game-changing announcements that will accelerate the decarbonisation of trucking in Australia.

The first was the Federal Government’s announcement to increase truck maximum width to 2.55 metres on Thursday last week. The change harmonises Australia’s truck width limits with many overseas markets and allows manufacturers to introduce the next generation of cleaner and safer trucks, without needing costly re-design or re-engineering.

In the days that followed, the Department for Infrastructure and Transport in South Australia (DITSA) and Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) each separately announced trial schemes for low and zero-emissions trucks that will permit them to exceed regulated axle load limits on state-managed roads. A summary of the major changes to axle mass limits is shown in the table below.

“These two announcements are game-changing for the industry and its efforts to decarbonise freight,” HVIA Chief Technical Officer Adam Ritzinger says.

“Truck manufacturers have long indicated that current axle mass limits are too low and will profoundly hinder the transition to low and zero-emissions vehicles if not adequately addressed.

South AustraliaSingle-steer, tandem-drive prime movers:
Single-steer axle – up to 7.5 tonnes
Tandem-drive axle – up to 18.5 tonnes
Twin-steer, tandem-drive prime movers:
Twin-steer axle – up to 12.0 tonnes
Tandem-drive axle – up to 17.0 tonnes
New South WalesSingle-steer, tandem-drive prime movers:
Single-steer axles – up to 8.0 tonnes
Tandem-drive axles – up to 18.5 tonnes

“It is incredible and inspiring to see state road managers proactively responding to those challenge with initiatives like this.”

Details on the South Australian trial are published on its website, while the New South Wales trial featured in its Towards Net Zero Emissions Freight Policy are also available online. The NSW policy included several other announcements and initiatives which are unpacked in more detail in this article.

HVIA is actively working with representatives from both DITSA and TfNSW to understand some of the finer details around these announcements, and how the industry can make best use of them. HVIA will pass further information onto members as it becomes available.

HVIA’s further advocacy efforts in this area will focus on expansion and national harmonisation, HVIA’s Chief Advocacy Officer Dr Adele Lausberg says.

“The next logical step is the creation of a national access network for low and zero-emissions vehicles, and the alignment of the requirements and details of each state scheme,” she says.

“This is particularly crucial for emissions in long-distance haulage operations, which are also some of the hardest to abate.”

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