Not content with shaming  their Aussie cousins across the ditch when it comes to any number of things, from their record on human rights, to the  treatment of refugees and their reputation for being  good and nice sportspeople, the Kiwis have upstaged us again, this time with the move to zero emission vehicles, thanks to  Christchurch City Council fervently embracing  electric trucks, in a big way.

At least those bloody All Blacks are finally struggling to win games.

It’s been revealed that nine New Zealand companies involved in civil maintenance, traffic management and urban delivery recently introduced unique purpose-built FUSO eCanter trucks as part of two emission-reduction projects instigated by Christchurch City Council and co funded by NZ’s Energy Efficient Conservation Authority (EECA).

The nine trucks  are all  Fuso eCanter full battery electric trucks, and they have been fitted with a variety of application-specific body types, ranging from chiller bodies for fresh food distribution, to curtainsiders for express freight delivery, and a range of flat deck and utility configurations for civil infrastructure, maintenance work and traffic management.

Fuso New Zealand general manager, Kevin Smith, highlighted the broad scope of body types as a positive demonstration of the versatility and adaptability of the all-electric 6T and 7.5T FUSO eCanter range.

“It has been Fuso New Zealand’s pleasure to work closely from day one with Christchurch City Council to formulate these two projects, and to collaborate with participating businesses and bodybuilders, as well as EROAD and Mercury NZ,” said Smith.

“The broad range of applications to which these Fuso eCanter trucks have been put to work, and the outstanding body builds on display, demonstrate their adaptability and suitability for emission-free operation across a range of industries.

“It is encouraging to see how the drive towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions is being embraced by diverse transport operators united by a common goal.

“We are also extremely proud that Fuso eCanter is the number one choice in its class for operators in New Zealand. It has far outsold its nearest competitor since launching in 2021.

“We invite all interested businesses to contact us to discuss how Fuso eCanter can play a role in reducing their Scope 1 and Scope 3 emissions.”

Fuso eCanter’s industry-leading versatility is supported by its practical payload capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes and a range of advanced safety features for the greater protection of drivers, other road users and pedestrians. Operators are also strongly supported by a 6-year / 180,000km warranty.

As the number one selling truck brand in New Zealand, Fuso provides a mature and highly accessible nationwide parts and service network 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Whenever assistance or support is needed, we’ll be there,” said Smith. “It’s all part of what we mean when we say ‘We look after our own’.

“That concept extends to our wider whanau and community. It’s satisfying to know that the Fuso eCanter trucks that have officially been launched today are now silently going about their tasks with zero on-road emissions, which will be a blessing to Christchurch residents and our country as a whole,” said Smith.

Both projects have been developed in collaboration between Christchurch City Council (CCC) and Fuso New Zealand and are co-funded by EECA with support from commercial vehicle lease specialists TR Group, telematics experts EROAD and renewable electricity generator and EV charging specialists Mercury NZ.

The Civil Construction and Maintenance Services Project involves Citycare Property, Fulton Hogan Ltd, HEB Construction Ltd, Higgins Contractors Ltd, and Isaac Construction Ltd, which all service Christchurch City Council contracts.

The Shopping District Battery Electric Truck Delivery Services Project involves Bidfood, Halls, PBT Transport Ltd and Toll New Zealand. These companies will deliver goods to the Papanui shopping district, with both Northlands and Northlink Shopping Centres involved, and to the Christchurch Airport shopping district.

Christchurch City Council Resource Efficiency Manager Kevin Crutchley said the projects would provide invaluable learnings not only for the Council and participating business, but for other local councils and the wider transport and civil contracting industries, as well as others.

“We’re gathering practical learnings from the projects, so that truck operators can see how to best use battery electric truck technology for their operations,” said Crutchley.

“It’s important to note that all equipment and plant use from these battery electric vehicles will have zero exhaust emissions.

“The projects aim to show what’s possible with the electrification of commercial trucks. With transport making up the majority of our district’s emissions, it’s critical that we find a path towards zero exhaust emission trucks, in addition to battery electric passenger cars.”

So they’re nice, socially responsible, have Jacinta as PM, who we all love, and now they’re showing us how to be more environmentally responsible. Bloody Kiwis!  Carn’ the Wallabies!