New Hino Australia Sales and marketing boss , Richard Emery believes that a sensible government incentive program to reduce the number of older trucks on our roads would be a good start for the transition to a zero emission future for the Australian truck industry.
Speaking at a media lunch in Sydney Emery said he believed this would not only benefit the environment, but also for road safety with new trucks equipped with the better safety technology making it safer for truck drivers, and other road users.
“The emissions objectives are just not possible in a short timeframe, the reality will be quite different due to many factors, supply of appropriate battery materiel being one, ” said Emery.
Emery believes that cleaning up the industry with more environmentally friendly trucks ahead of a full zero emission range will have to happen to bridge between now and the future.
Emery also posed the question to the gathered truck media about what could be done to bring more new blood into the Australian truck industry, as both drivers and technicians.
“We need to identify what will attract people to drive and to work on trucks,” Emery said.
“We have an ageing truck driver population and we can’t get enough people to work on trucks and we need a strategy to attract people to the industry because the freight task is set to grow by more than 40 per cent in the next five years and to do that more personnel will be needed,” he said.
Emery added that the culture of the driving life is a major industry problem as drivers are still in demand and the demand is growing.
Emery seems to favour TIC group action but says that Hino and the industry needs to do more
Asked about when Hino would have an electric truck, Emery could not indicate when the Toyota subsidiary would have its first electric truck on Australian roads, although he indicated that Hino has a battery electric truck on trial in Japan and at some point that will come to Australia.
“E Trucks are inevitable, but we have led the industry with hybrids and because of the growing demand for electric, we will take a much more aggressive stance with them, Emery said.
“Our hybrids are going to be the stepping stone to full battery electric for at least the next five years,” he added.
Emery said he couldn’t see any diversions to Hydrogen fuel cell or other technologies when the Toyota Group focus is pretty firmly fixed on hybrid and NMH batteries.
“The future availability of lithium and rare earths used in battery manufacture may be an issue for the industry generally, not just for Hino,” Emery said.
Emery said that city centres and urban delivery will be the province of trucks like Hino’s 300 series, but said that Hino had nothing smaller, or more innovative in the pipeline under that weight range, and particularly no van.