Australia needs a National Zero Emission Truck Strategy

The freight and transport industry has called on the Australian Government to develop and implement a Zero Emission Truck Strategy.

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia has joined forces with the Electric Vehicle Council, Australian Trucking Association, and the Australian Hydrogen Council to advocate for government direction and support that goes beyond light vehicles, the focus of the government’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy launched last week.

While the Strategy and commitment to a Fuel Efficiency Standard is a major step forward for Australia, the freight and transport industry believes trucks and logistics will be left in the slow lane to decarbonisation if the scope of government policy isn’t expanded.

The freight and logistics transport sector contributes 38 per cent of Australia’s transport emissions. While Australia has a legislated commitment to net zero emissions, there is no plan for reducing emissions from road freight transport.

The Australian trucking industry faces significant barriers to the adoption of zero-emission trucks, including vehicle design rules, lack of electric truck recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, and a temporary but significantly higher upfront cost.

The Australian Government should:

  • Develop a national zero-emission truck strategy
  • Sign the global memorandum of understanding on zero-emission trucks, to set clear climate ambition for medium and heavy vehicles
  • Fix the regulatory barriers (i.e. width and axle mass limits) to zero-emission trucks, to increase vehicle model supply
  • Increase investment in electric recharging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for trucks
  • Implement a purchase price incentive for zero-emission trucks
  • Fund and implement an upskilling and reskilling plan to ensure the preparedness of the workforce to transition to a zero-emission fleet.

As an organisation in strong support of a zero-emissions future, IKEA Australia backs the industry’s call for government to support the decarbonisation of the commercial logistics sector.

Alexandra Kelly, Zero Emissions Delivery Lead, IKEA Australia, said, “Freight is a big part of Australia’s decarbonisation journey with unique challenges. It’s essential for this industry to have dedicated policy support that would enable retailers, vehicle manufacturers, transport service providers and owner-drivers to make the transition to zero emissions delivery.

As the first home-furnishing retailer in Australia to use electric vehicles for deliveries with our transport service providers, we are committed to achieving 100% zero emissions delivery by 2025. But we cannot do it alone. More is needed to build confidence in the sector that now is the time to electrify.”

The freight and transport industry welcomes the opening of consultation on light vehicle fuel efficiency standards, to improve the supply of low and zero-emission light vehicles, including for commercial fleets.

The industry directly employs over 70,000 people and provides some of the world’s most efficient, safe, innovative, and technologically advanced vehicles.

In 2019, IKEA became the first home furnishing retailer in Australia to implement electric vehicles for home deliveries and assembly services. Since then, the company has worked with its delivery partners including ANC Delivers, Kings Transport, and All Purpose Transport to implement home deliveries with electric vehicles across Australia.

Their goal is for 100% of transport for customer deliveries and services to use electric vehicles (EV) or other zero-emission solutions by 2025.

If there were any doubt that the heavy vehicle industry is leading from the front, the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show will showcase the largest display of zero-emissions commercial vehicles in one place in the Southern Hemisphere from Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 May. 

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