Prime minister Anthony Albanese  was the star attendee, along with the global president of the Volvo Group, Martin Lundstedt, who had flown in from Sweden  as  transport and logistics giant, Team Global Express officially unveiled what is claimed to be  Australia’s largest logistics electric vehicle fleet trial in Sydney today.

The offical launch of the  Team Global electric truck fleet and its renewable energy. re charging system at its Bungarribee (Eastern Creek)depot/warehouse followed the arrival of its new electric trucks and the start up of the solar powered/ battery back up charging system  which had been installed at the depot  since  the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) granted Team Global a major multi-million grant to make the zero emission fleet and renewable energy charging possible.

So far the company has taken delivery of  43 of the 60 battery electric trucks  it has ordered as part of the deal/trial.  Of the total order of 60 trucks, 36 will be Volvo eFL electrics, while the balance of the order  will be met by 24 Fuso eCanters  from Daimler. The trial will run over five  years and has been made possible by an investment of $44.5 million in total, of which $20 million  has been contributed by ARENA as a grant to the company, while  Team Global has contributed the balance by way of a ‘Green’ loan from its banker, the Commonwealth Bank.

The program  in partnership with ARENA, will see Team Global Express replace a third of its Western Sydney fleet with electric trucks to deliver parcels to customers around the Sydney metropolitan area.

Team Global Express has transformed its Bungarribee facility over the last 12 months, creating what it dubs  ‘The Depot of the Future’ to house the vital infrastructure required to service the electric vehicles. The depot upgrade included the construction of charging infrastructure and a battery storage system, which utilises 400kws of solar energy from on-site panels. The installed 1MW battery energy storage system (BESS) will enhance the depot’s renewable power capacity and reduce Team Global Express’ reliance on grid power. TGE was able to save $7,300 of energy costs in the first hour of the BESS system being turned on.

Team Global Express Group CEO, Christine Holgate said transport accounts for 19 per cen of all emissions in Australia and  said that this trial represents an important step towards addressing the emissions intensity of the sector:

 “Team Global Express is proud to roll out an electric vehicle trial of this scale and support our industry and country’s renewable energy transition ambitions. As part of our partnership with ARENA, we will be sharing the knowledge we gain from the trial with other industry providers to benefit the entire sector,” said Christine Holgate.

 “At the time of placing our order with Volvo, we held the record for the largest order of medium duty electric vehicles the company had received globally. We are thrilled that these trucks are on Sydney roads delivering parcels directly to residential and commercial customers,” Holgate said.

Team Global Express’ director of ESG, Heather Bone, said that Western Sydney was chosen for its strategic location to urban distribution areas, allowing for the trucks to increase their own energy via regenerative braking:

“We are delighted to unveil Team Global Express’ Depot of the Future and begin servicing the Western Sydney community with deliveries driven by electric vehicles. Bungarribee now houses advanced charging infrastructure fuelled by solar energy, enabling our new trucks to be recharged and back on the streets in as little as two hours if required,” said Heather Bone.

Team Global Express explained that its team members based at Bungarribee have undertaken specialised electric vehicle training.

“We’ve also used this trial as an opportunity to upskill a number of our female employees and support them in getting their heavy vehicle driving licences; so they too can enjoy driving our new electric trucks,” said Bone.

The benefits of the electric truck fleet will extend to local communities through reduced vehicle noise and improved urban air quality. Additionally, Team Global Express drivers will benefit from improved safety conditions through lower noise and vibrations and the general safety benefits of a new fleet equipped with the latest technology, sensors and telematics.

Volvo’s Global CEO, Martin Lundstedt, joined Team Global Express executives at the Bungarribee depot of the future today, to celebrate the roll out of the fleet,

“It is a privilege to witness projects such as this come to life around the globe and I’m very happy to be here in person to see this site in operation”, said Lundstedt.

“Partnerships like the one we have with Team Global Express are vital as the world continues on its zero emissions journey,” he added.

“I congratulate all involved for their dedication towards making our cities a better place to live and for taking a positive step towards the future of our planet.”

PM Albanese  was full of praise for the  Trial and  for the commitment of Team Global and hte role that ARENA has played. The PM was at the launch along with his minister for energy and renewables, Chris Bowen.

“This trial is part of my government’s ‘Driving the Nation’ program  and I am very proud of the  work that has been done  to make all this happen,” said Albanese.

” this is a transformation that will not only be good for our environment, but good for  the economy and for business. There are no downsides to this trial, it is a great initiative that will be  good for everyone, it will reduce emissions and pollution, make the industry  more sustainable as well as benefitting employment in Western Sydney,” the PM added.

Christine Holgate added that  Mr Albanese was  welcome back to the Team Global operation at Bagarribee anytime he liked and praised the support  the company had received in taking the  dream to reality.

“This is the largest trial of electric trucks in the World and is aimed at not only creating a cleaner workplace, but a safer workplace that we intend to use to  attract more women into this industry. Our hope it that Team Global Express  will have more  women  drivers in our fleet than any other company in Australia,” said Holgate.

The Team Global CEO said that  the  solar installation  on the roof of the Bungarribee Depot  was already proving to be a success and was  not only providing clean renewable energy for charging its fleet, but also  providing  strong returns.

“In the first hour we switched on the solar power system here at Bungarribee, the system generated around $7500 in electricity, which is an amazing result and demonstrates that  this is an investment in delivering progress,” she said.