After five years of preparation in New Zealand and more than three million kilometres of road testing internationally, Fuso New Zealand has announced the arrival of six fully electric light trucks at the Auckland Port on Saturday. This marks the first tangible milestone of an approved electric truck trial for inner city deliveries – the eCanter ZEA Auckland City Project. This is the largest electric truck trial to date held in New Zealand having successfully secured co-funding through the government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.
The one-year trial will start around July 2021. Fuso, in partnership with EROAD, has collaborated with Mainfreight, Bidfood, Toll Group, Owens Transport and Vector OnGas. The operators will use the eCanter trucks for inner-city delivery routes working with their customers and drivers to optimise the potential of their trucks, develop insights into optimum scheduling and vehicle capacity, and to identify solutions to any unanticipated barriers to electric truck operation in the proposed Zero Emissions Area (ZEA).
Kathy Schluter, Fuso’s GM of sales and customer experience, says she is hopeful that the ZEA trial will form a benchmark for other businesses who may be considering a transition to sustainable vehicle fleets. “The arrival of our breakthrough eCanter trucks to Auckland is a momentous and hugely significant milestone for New Zealand transport. Fuso’s commitment to the delivery of electric trucks in New Zealand will amplify our country’s renewable electricity advantage and accelerate the need to decarbonise vehicle fleets to deliver on the Government’s climate change goals.”
EECA’s transport portfolio manager, Richard Briggs, says: “The high-density urban environment the trucks will operate in will be a robust test ground. The trial will demonstrate how these trucks perform, and reveal associated lower costs, such as expected reduced maintenance and servicing. Importantly, the project will give an insight into how participating businesses will operate their trucks considering the different work profiles for each vehicle, scheduling runs around the need to charge, and the behavioural aspects of going electric.”
Auckland Transport has been an essential endorser of Fuos’s contribution to the ZEA trial. Shane Ellison, chief executive, says: “Auckland Transport has a vision of a low-emissions transport network and Fuso’s e-Canter trial project has real potential to contribute to this goal. We are thrilled to support this exciting trial.”