TruckShowX Illuminates The Road To Decarbonisation

The inaugural TruckShowX has achieved its ambitious goal of delivering Australia’s largest-ever transport decarbonisation event, with more than 350 industry decision makers attending the summit held on May 12-14 at RACV Cape Schanck Resort on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

HVIA CEO Todd Hacking says the event exceeded all expectations as the record turnout heard almost 40 incredible speakers unpack the interconnected ‘ecosystem’ of equipment, infrastructure, services, regulations, policies, and people necessary to successfully decarbonise the road transport industry.

Attendees also had the unique opportunity to check out the latest in low and zero-emissions (LZE) technologies on show at the event’s exhibition – as well as get behind the wheel of 12 cutting-edge LZEV as part of the drive program.

“With the support of our dedicated and engaged partners and sponsors, and a show-stopping venue, TruckShowX brought together an incredible line-up of expert speakers and exhibitors to deliver two days’ worth of world-class content, networking and insightful discussions and debates on arguably the greatest challenge ever faced by the heavy vehicle industry,” he says.

“This, along with the 350+ delegates who joined us at RACV Cape Schanck, helped make it an overwhelming success.”

What emerged across the two-day program was a clearer picture of the enormous decarbonisation challenge facing an industry forecast to surpass the energy sector as the nation’s biggest emitter by 2030 – as well as potential solutions.

As Ian Porter, First Assistant Secretary, Data, Research, Strategy and Net Zero within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, told delegates, the challenge is especially complex for the heavy vehicle industry with “no natural pathway” to decarbonisation.

Porter, and many other speakers – ranging from future fuels and charging infrastructure experts, cutting-edge equipment suppliers and leaders in low- and zero-emissions vehicle (LZEV) adoption – pointed to several possible pathways, including electrification for small, short-haul trucks; and low-carbon liquid fuels and, longer-term, hydrogen for bigger, long-haul vehicles.

“All are likely to play key roles,” he said.

Critically, Porter – along with policy makers and regulators from NSW and Victoria – conceded that governments will need to play a major role in supporting the transition, from upgrading road infrastructure and charging and refuelling facilities, to ensuring nationally consistent regulations, and providing direct and indirect financial support to operators, possibly including subsidies to offset the higher costs of LZE vehicles.

Importantly, Transport for NSW’s Janine Percy noted that providing greater access for higher-productivity vehicles that move more freight with fewer trips will also be crucial to decarbonise the sector.

“The Government will need to help [the transport industry decarbonise],” Porter conceded.

“Industry will need appropriate regulatory settings and infrastructure investment and potentially support for the transition in terms of [investing in] in kit and the like.”

Notwithstanding the need for government support, TruckShowX heard from myriad presenters on the work already under way by private sector players in rolling out the technology and infrastructure necessary to support decarbonisation, from leading-edge truck and trailer suppliers to fuels and charging infrastructure providers.

NewVolt’s Anthony Headlam revealed his company was on track to launch its first public charging site in the western suburbs of Melbourne mid next year – one of 14 truck charging hubs it plans to open along Australia’s high-volume road freight corridors and critical industrial precincts by 2026-27; while Hiringa Energy’s Ryan McDonald shared details of his company’s plan to establish a network of hydrogen refuelling stations, starting with three outlets recently opened in New Zealand.

Despite the enormity of the challenge, attendees heard from a number of leading-edge operators who are well down the decarbonisation road, including Heather Bone’s Team Global Express, which has rolled out Australia’s largest-ever truck electrification project in western Sydney; and All Purpose Transport’s Paul Kahlert, whose company now operates a fleet of 15 electric vehicles servicing its contract with home furnishing’s retailer IKEA.

“When your client comes to you and says you’ve got six years to go all electric it’s a bit daunting,” Kahlert told delegates.

However, with strong support from IKEA and some innovative thinking, he says the company is on track to meet the requirement with a fleet of 15 electric vans and trucks servicing IKEA customers in south-east Queensland – and a further five scheduled to join the fleet in September.

For a full wrap up of TruckShowX – including coverage (and cracking images) of the key sessions, expo, drive program and networking events – look out for next week’s Talk the Torque and stay tunned to the website and social media channels!

TruckShowX was supported by Gold Sponsors NTI, Caltex and Hyzon, Research Partner National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO), Industry Partner NatRoad, Networking Event Partners Geotab, NewVolt and Container Transport Alliance Australia, Charity Partner Healthy Heads Trucks & Sheds, and Media Partner ROADBOSS.

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