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Launch of two firsts for the NZ transport sector

30 July 2022
New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods celebrated the launch of two firsts for energy decarbonisation in the transport sector in New Zealand; an electric milk tanker and a hydrogen truck, made possible with the help of Government funding.

New Zealand’s (and possibly the world’s) first electric milk tanker is entering Fonterra’s fleet and Hyundai and NZ Post are getting the country’s first hydrogen truck on the road. Megan Woods highlighted the importance of organisations that operate large fleets, leveraging new technology to reduce their emissions.

“These Government partnerships with industry are vital to achieving our climate goals, Megan Woods said. “It’s my hope these projects will deliver valuable lessons and financial insights that will be shared with others, and can be replicated across the national heavy fleet.

“Transport makes up more than 20% of the country’s emissions, and heavy vehicles, most of which are for freight, emit almost a quarter of our total transport emissions. Heavy transport is harder to decarbonise than light transport, and it’s likely a mix of hydrogen, electricity and other low-emission fuels will be needed to help meet the Emissions Reduction Plan’s target to cut emissions from freight transport by 35 percent by 2035.

“These truck projects have the potential to be transformational for heavy transport. According to Hyundai, the truck will save emissions the equivalent of taking 100 cars off the road.

“In the dairy sector, nationwide annual emissions from Fonterra’s milk collection are estimated to be around 126,000 tonnes of CO2e, so if this project proves replicable, it represents an excellent opportunity to make a huge cut to Fonterra’s heavy fleet emissions,” Megan Woods said.

Both projects received co-funding from the government’s Low Emissions Transport Fund, administered by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority).

Fonterra received NZ$427,000 in co-funding, of an estimated total cost of $850,000 to purchase the electric truck cab/chassis and convert it into a tanker. The work was completed by a local engineer who specialises in mounting Fonterra’s tanker barrels and Fonterra’s in-house service technicians who specialise in building their tankers.

The E-tanker (named ‘Milk-E’) will operate on battery-swap technology, meaning just a few minutes’ downtime to swap batteries, which can be charged at off-peak times.

Hyundai NZ received NZ$500,000 in co-funding to purchase and deploy an initial fleet of five zero-emission Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric trucks into New Zealand and enter real-world daily logistics operation trials. NZ Post will operate the first of these, with plans to eventually deploy it on the Whangarei-Auckland-Hamilton route.

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