New Australian government standards for EVs

Electric and hybrid vehicles are growing in popularity in all road vehicle types, including commercial vehicles. To ensure consumer confidence and mitigate any risks associated with these new technologies, the Australian Government has introduced new standards to strengthen safety requirements for new electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.

This national standard was announced by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts in January. The department said in its statement that the standards take into account the steep uptake of technologies which are more sustainable than the internal combustion engine. It is intended that the new standards will protect road users, first responders, technicians, and communities from direct contact with high-voltage parts in the event of a crash involving these vehicles.

Compulsory compliance dates will come into effect from November 2024, giving manufacturers time to adapt their processes.

Legislation and standards have traditionally lagged behind the fast-paced introduction of new technologies, but as innovation accelerates, we can expect updates to laws and compliance requirements to happen more frequently.

Cooking oil – a sustainable alternative to diesel?

From Cleanaway to Linfox, major trucking companies are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint.

Last month, Cleanaway began a partnership with Viva Energy to trial two waste collection trucks that run on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, or HVO, instead of fossil fuel-derived diesel. Viva Energy hopes that Cleanaway is the first of many clients in the transport sector to replace diesel with their renewable diesel.

Meanwhile, Qube is preparing to transition all of its light vehicles to electric. In a move hoped to position Qube as a sector leader in the transition to a lower carbon future, the logistics provider unveiled its new 268kW solar and 309KWh battery system which took its Picton, Western Australia, facilities entirely off the grid.

A little over 12 months ago, Linfox Executive Chairman, Peter Fox, indicated that the company was looking to move away from unsustainable diesel to more renewable fuel sources, such as hydrogen. However, they were waiting for more investment in refuelling and charging networks to feel truly confident in the commercial viability of renewable logistics. Their website currently boasts news of trialling six electric trucks, buying renewable electricity, and building carbon-neutral facilities.

Many operators share the concern about the charging network, wondering about the ‘chicken and egg’ conundrum of whether the network or trucks will come first. Let’s look at what’s happening to answer this question.

Electric trucks and trucking decarbonisation

Trucking and transport operations have traditionally been seen as highly polluting due to high consumption of fossil fuels. Most operators’ carbon footprint is made up primarily by diesel fuel consumption – 80% or above. It follows that to take big strides towards sustainability, truck decarbonation is a hot topic in road logistics.

Aussie startup, NewVolt, are on a mission to decarbonise Australian freight transport through electric trucks and accompanying infrastructure. At the upcoming TruckShowX 2024 in Victoria, NewVolt will paint the picture of what a net-zero future looks like for our freight industry.

This future includes battery-electric trucks, a network of shared-use charging hubs along Australia’s high-volume road freight corridors and major industrial, precincts, and low-cost Australian renewable energy.

NewVolt plans to have its first truck charging station up and running in Melbourne in 2025, followed by another 14 sites in key precincts in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and the Hume Highway from 2027, and then a 40 site metropolitan expansion, with the Pacific, Newell, Sturt, and Western Highway connections anticipated from 2030.

The company highlights the potential for the trucking industry to save billions of dollars per year by switching to electric road freight, made possible by Australia’s ability to generate low-cost renewable energy.

MEGATRANS zeroes in on sustainability

MEGATRANS is Australia’s largest integrated conference and exhibition dedicated to the logistics industry. Championing the Australian supply chain since 2018, in 2024, the conference will focus on the sustainable supply chain of the future. This year will see the logistics industry make its most significant shift towards sustainability, with investments in this space set to skyrocket, according to event officials.

The show will focus on four key areas:

  • Fleets of the future
  • The zero carbon warehouse
  • The traceable supply chain
  • Cold chain solutions

The event will bring together industry experts to explore the many ways the supply chain can be made more robust and sustainable. From electric vehicles, through to charging stations, telematics solutions, and fleet management software, companies offering these advanced technologies will gather over two days to offer fleet managers a glimpse of the solutions that will be taking them into the next decade.

MEGATRANS, Australia’s largest logistics event, is taking place in Melbourne from 18-19 September, 2024.

An industry with a bright and clean future

Part of ensuring the sustainable future of the freight industry is adapting it to attract a more diverse workforce. Making changes now to reflect the values of this generation will mean the industry can set itself up for the future.

A smart TMS can help you stay on top of technological and sustainability advances while streamlining your operations and fortifying your profits. GoDesta offers a comprehensive range of solutions, including our Compliance Automation feature so you can easily manage the ever-changing compliance requirements for transport operators. Click here to find out more and ensure nothing gets missed.

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