Twenty projects have been announced in the latest round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Among them is a $500,000 grant to freight optimisation company CODA. As reported by the NZ Herald, this is to be used in partnership with Bay Dairy and Zero Emission Vehicles to design and build an electric freight truck to shuttle dairy products from the Fonterra Te Rapa dairy factory to the Fonterra Crawford Street freight hub in Hamilton.
The vehicle is unique in that it is a high-productivity truck and trailer with both units powered. Three axles on each unit are driven electronically which will transmit the power to the pavement in a more evenly-distributed manner, creating less roadwave. The result is a vehicle with greater control and stability that is gentler on roads despite being, at 58 tonnes, the largest electric vehicle ever to appear on New Zealand roads.
The heavier vehicles are core business for ZEV, with larger trucks creating a more compelling business case for cost savings over diesel vehicles and with greater environmental and health benefits. EECA has identified that this vehicle will save 71 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year alone.
The ZEV truck and trailer is expected to be in operation in early 2019.