QLD Announces Steer Axle Mass Increase For ZEHV

The Queensland Government has paved the way for electric heavy vehicles with steer axle masses of up to eight tonnes to operate on state-controlled highways in the south-east corner of the state.

This follows previous announcements of trials of higher mass limits for zero-emissions heavy vehicles (ZEHV) in New South Wales (up to eight tonnes on single-steer axles and up to 18.5 tonnes on tandem-drive axles); and South Australia (up to 7.5 tonnes on single-steer axles and up to 18.5 tonnes on tandem-drive axles); and Victoria‘s granting of a three-year permit to Volvo to operate a battery electric prime mover and semi-trailer combination with a steer axle load of up to 7.5 tonnes on a network of state-owned roads.

On Friday the Queensland Government announced a Zero Emission Heavy Vehicle (ZEHV) Network Map that identifies parts of the south-east Queensland road network that can best accommodate ZEHV’s with steer axle masses of up to eight tonnes.

HVIA has reached out to several departmental staff, but has yet to see the map itself, and understands that details on network access have not been released.

The designated roads extend from the New South Wales border at the Gold Coast to Bundaberg and as far west as Toowoomba and Warwick.

The Government says it has developed an evidence-based approach for the heavy vehicle industry in the adoption of ZEHV. An important part of the Government’s considerations, Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish says, has been to identify which parts of the road network could best accommodate these vehicles and facilitate access to essential supply chain linkages.

As part of a staged approach the ZEHV Network Map is focused on selected state-controlled roads in the south-east corner of the state where industry believes initial demand will be highest.

“This announcement will put Queensland on the map as a leader in future electric truck manufacturing,” Mellish says.

“As transport is one of the main contributors to Queensland’s emissions zero-emission heavy vehicles can make a significant contribution to meeting Queensland’s targets to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Mick de Brenni adds: “Without trucks, Australia stops, and so decarbonising the heavy transport sector supports emissions reduction right across the economy in everything from resources to agriculture.

“I know all Queenslanders will welcome a future of locally manufactured electric trucks, because it means a creating a lasting legacy for the Australian vehicle manufacturing industry.

“The Miles Government is determined to decarbonise Queensland industries, increase Queensland’s manufacturing opportunities, and protect and create good jobs for Queenslanders.”

The decision gives the green light for Volvo Group Australia to build battery electric trucks at its Wacol manufacturing facility, says President and CEO Martin Merrick.

“I’d like to thank Minister Mellish, Minister de Brenni, Queensland TMR and the NHVR for their support and hard work in bringing this regulatory shift into reality,” he says.

”This announcement will allow the full range of Volvo’s electric heavy vehicles to operate on Queensland roads, which is a major win for the people of Queensland.

“We now also have the green light to invest even further in Queensland manufacturing. Last year I announced our intention to build battery electric trucks at our Wacol manufacturing facility, today I can confirm that intention can now be made reality.”

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