ARENA grant to co-fund Australia’s largest EV truck fleet

One of Australia’s busiest logistics providers is set to embark on Australia’s largest heavy vehicle electrification project at its western Sydney depot.

Team Global Express has been selected by ARENA (the Australian Renewable Energy Agency) to receive $20.1 million in funding to deliver Australia’s largest logistics Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) fleet in Western Sydney.

The $44.3 million project includes the purchase and operation of 24 Daimler Fuso eCanters (light rigid vehicles), 36 Volvo eFLs (medium rigid vehicles) and the associated charging and site infrastructure to enable vehicle integration into the depot.

The orders placed with Daimler and Volvo are the single most significant orders each company has received for these electric trucks in the world, to date.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said back-to-base operations were a great way to decarbonise Australia’s heavier road vehicles.

“This is the largest adoption of battery electric trucks by a major logistics provider in Australia and a great example of ARENA’s work, together with industry, to reduce emissions,” Minister Bowen said.

“The project will provide insights for the broader trucking industry and help build market confidence in the new technology so we could soon see more delivery trucks powered by batteries deployed more widely and quickly across the Australian economy.”

Christine Holgate, Group CEO of Team Global Express, said the pioneering trial will place Team Global Express at the forefront of electric vehicle adoption in the Australian logistics sector.

“Today is an important step toward progressing Australia’s pathway to reduce scope 1 emissions and secure a net zero future,” Ms Holgate said.

“We often talk about the transition of workforces as we move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This is happening in real-time at Team Global Express as we retire diesel-fuelled vehicles and replace them with EVs.”

The transportation and logistics operations of Team Global Express span across Australia and New Zealand, with more than 13,000 delivery vehicles in their fleet.

The project will see one-third of its western Sydney fleet transition to BEVs under a ‘back-to-base’ model, with the trucks travelling from distribution centres to customers in urban areas, then returning to the depot for charging.

The trucks will be powered and charged on-site at Bungarribee using both on-site solar generation, the installation of a battery energy storage system and the use of renewable energy from the grid.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project is an important next step to reduce emissions from heavy vehicles.

“Operating a fleet of battery electric heavy vehicles will help to address some of the key barriers to adoption, including overcoming the higher upfront purchase price, and uncertainty of integrating electric vehicles into existing operations at scale,” Mr Miller said.

“Understanding these barriers will help to build market confidence around EV technology and show that the transition to heavy electric vehicles is possible.”

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