HVIA welcomes Government investment in Future Fuels infrastructure

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of increased funding for infrastructure to support the rollout of battery and fuel cell electric vehicles.

HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking was commenting in response to the Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy launched by Prime Minister Scott Morrison today.

“We agree with the Prime Minister’s comments that the uptake will be driven by the market,” Mr Hacking said.

“For the heavy vehicle industry, transitioning the fleet is a commercial decisions, so several factors need to align to ensure purchasers have the confidence to invest.

“First and foremost, the price has to be right, but operators also need to be confident that the infrastructure, workforce, training and services are available to support them.”

Mr Hacking said the cost of energy, and the assurance of its supply are crucial in determining the viability of these vehicles in the road transport fleet.

“Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet is ready to start making the transition, however the overall cost of ownership needs to reach parity with existing options before we will start seeing large scale adoption,” he said.

Mr Hacking explained that charging and fuelling infrastructure that will work for passenger vehicles will not necessarily accommodate heavy vehicles.

“Heavy vehicles need to be considered in their own right because of the higher power demands, the need for availability along strategic routes and the need to avoid congestion for heavy vehicle operators at the recharge or refuelling points.

“Understanding the road map for the infrastructure roll out will be a key part of providing the confidence to industry.”

“We will continue to work closely across Government to address these challenges.

“In turn, the removal of those obstacles will serve to build the value proposition and hasten the uptake of zero emission heavy vehicles in Australia.”

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the expanded Future Fuels Fund, increased to $250 million, will support a bigger rollout of infrastructure in urban and regional Australia.

“The government’s partnership with industry will stimulate almost half a billion dollars of public and private sector investment,” the Minister said.

“The fund will include more support for business fleets and new technologies for long-distance and heavy-duty vehicles.

“This strategy will ensure we get ahead of the curve.”

Truck, component and technology manufacturers worldwide have accelerated their programs and are delivering heavy vehicle solutions that in many cases are ready for immediate implementation.

Examples of the sophistication of available technologies was on display in abundance at this year’s Brisbane Truck Show.

Before the roll-out can happen in earnest, however, there are a range of significant common challenges that will require a coordinated and strategic approach to resolve.

HVIA is working with its members and stakeholders to overcome a series of challenges towards enabling the transition of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet to electromobility.

“HVIA LITE” is a new project being led by HVIA’s Steve Power and Greg Forbes to assist members participate in a coordinated and collaborative approach to a heavy vehicle fleet progressively dominated by battery electric (BEV) and fuel cell electric (FCEV) zero emission trucks.

“HVIA has already begun to harness the experience and expertise of members and external stakeholders to identify and resolve issues including standards, legislative and access requirements, workplace and operational safety, maintenance, technical and emergency support, skills and training, and energy supply including infrastructure and grid capacity,” Mr Power said.

“Then the marketplace will be able to evolve purchasing decisions from whether to consider zero emissions trucks to which zero emission truck.”

If you are interested in discussing how the transition to electromobility affects your business please reach out. Email: s.power@hvia.asn.au

More information is on Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy

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