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EV Trucks Are Already Being Used for Transport

Hello and welcome to another ChargeSmart blog! Today, we will be taking a look at a local company who have already started using an EV truck for transportation.

Normally known for their commercial laundry services, Alsco New Zealand made headlines for reasons other than some clean sheets. They have become the first company to launch an ‘inter-city EV truck’, it’s a Hino GH 1828. While some other companies are trying out EV trucks, this EV truck is actually being used for a regular route. It’s not just a showpiece.

The truck in question

The Hino truck in question has 259kW of power which can even be upped to 372 when needed! This results in a peak torque figure of 3500Nm, you can move a lot of laundry with that. The truck has a range of 200km which means it won't be able to cover the same distance as a diesel truck but there's some advantages here. Firstly, the EV truck will save over 25,000 litres of diesel per year which equates to 67,610kg of Co2 which is a lot in other words. The company says their EV truck will run the Rotorua to Taupo route in the morning where it will then recharge for a Rotorua/Tauranga return trip within the allotted time of an eight hour shift. Accommodating the truck meant it had to run the company's shortest route but here's the smart bit because there's plenty of charging stops along the way coupled with more chargers at the places where the truck stops for deliveries.

The truck is not factory fresh, it does have some modifications to make it a bit more practical. The body has a few extra curves compared to a standard truck body, this is done to improve aerodynamics which will save 5% of fuel in any truck. The truck also uses a powertrain from SEA electric which is fitted in a certain way to maximize the range.

The costs

Alsco say that the cost for the truck will be recovered in about 0.4 years. This seems like a really short amount of time and it is because there are several factors to help the company recover the cost. For starters, there's the fact that electricity is cheaper than diesel and electric vehicles are much cheaper to maintain than their combustion powered alternatives. There's also the bonus of the truck being exempt from road user charges (RUC) which is a $34,000 saving in itself.

The truck itself costed over $225,000 to build after a Contestable Fund grant of $50,000. All things considered, the cost was just over $20,000 more than the equivalent diesel truck. If you remove the fund from the equation then the truck would only take a mere 1.6 years to recover the cost.

If you're wondering where the fund came from then we can tell you more! The fund is a $7 million pool of money that the government has dedicated towards encouraging investment and innovation in the country. The money is collected from the fuel levy by the way! The fund has so far been used by charitable organisations to to buy used EVs and chargers while VTNZ has used their funding to test out batteries and charger safety. Ports of Auckland will also get a share of the fund which they will dedicate towards displaying the feasibility of hydrogen vs electricity. We will talk more about that in another blog this week!

Alsco's general manager wanted to show businesses around the country that EV technology can be used in day to day commercial transport and they can be used immediately. The company's long term goal is to eventually replace their 15 large diesel trucks with EVs, these 15 trucks use 1/3rd of the company's fuel bills. That is an extremely high number considering that Alsco uses over 350 vehicles in their day to day operations.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check back tomorrow as we take a look at the EV vs Hydrogen debate....

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