Despite the fact that Australia has a national heavy vehicle registration scheme and the Federal government recently announced wider truck width allowances, our propensity for making state based rules that vary across the country continues to handicap efficiencies and cause issues for transport operators in particular.
While truck width has finally been dealt with the issue of truck weight limits, particularly with allowances for heavy tare weights for electric trucks is one area where the rules are different across different Australian states. the whole thing reminds us of the difference in rail gauges that have caused issues across the country for the past 150 years.
Despite that, Daimler Truck Australia Pacific has welcomed the announcement of three trials by state governments including New South Wales, South Australian and Queensland governments that allow greater truck front axle weights for electric trucks.
Daimler says that as a rule, electric drive technology weighs more than a traditional internal combustion engine which means more weight and higher front axle loads.
the company says in its statement that Australian states have long enforced front axle weight tolerances that are significantly lower than many regions, including Europe. This can exclude some vehicles from local sale or cut their productivity by reducing the amount some models can carry without breaching overall weight limits.
Daimler Truck Australia Pacific says this could limit the take-up of electric trucks that produce zero emissions and operate near silently in our market and welcomed the increased limit trials in the three states. It noted that European authorities have approved a similar increase in front axle weight allowances for EV trucks over internal combustion variants.
“The increased EV front axle weight trials in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland are fantastic initiatives that acknowledge electric vehicle take-up would be restricted by the current regulations,” said Daimler Truck Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead.
“Electric trucks deliver massive benefits to the community and operators alike, so we are excited that these state governments appear to be prepared to conduct trials such as these to try and ensure Australians are not left behind the rest of the world when it comes to this great technology,” Whitehead concluded.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks is currently undertaking a local evaluation program for the battery-electric eActros and eEconic rigid trucks in Australia, while sister company Fuso is preparing to launch its new generation eCanter electric truck. Mercedes-Benz Trucks has just revealed the eActros 600 in Germany, a pioneering electric prime mover that introduces a raft of new technology, has a range of 500km and demonstrates the rapid advancement of electric commercial vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks is now taking orders for the eActros 600 prime mover in Europe. The advanced machine, which features new battery technology and an efficient electric drive axle developed in-house, is under consideration for Australia and New Zealand although it is too early to determine the final specification and when the vehicle could be available locally.
“Increasing axle weight limits would certainly help us give our customers the best electric trucks in the world and have them operate at their maximum potential productivity,” said Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific vice president, Andrew Assimo.
“We know our customers would be delighted to operate a truck like the eActros 600, which is a serious zero-emission workhorse,” he added.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks is currently unique local customer requirements and regulations as it considers the specification of trucks such as the eActros 600, which is an intrastate model rather than a replacement for a linehaul vehicle.
“It’s our view that fuel cell electric technology will deliver for longer linehaul applications with maximum weights, but a battery electric truck like the eActros 600 would be a brilliant for many intrastate applications,” Assimo said.
“With public commercial vehicle charging in its infancy in Australia, we see most battery electric trucks charging at a depot rather than public charging locations in between destinations,” Assimo added.