Global  building supply and concrete company Holcim,  has announced it has linked up with local EV distributor  Foton Mobility, entering into an agreement to trial the Foton e-AUMAN C battery electric concrete truck in Australia.      

Holcim  says the Foton EV truck will undergo a rigorous six-month trial by Holcim Australia at a remote mine site near Port Hedland in Western Australia, where it will be exposed to extreme operating conditions. The company says that the trial will enable both organisations to test the viability, reliability and performance of the truck under the unique operating requirements imposed by ready-mix concrete distribution.

Head of sustainability at Holcim Australia and New Zealand, Cyril Giraud, said the initiative is aligned to Holcim’s global accelerating green growth strategy.

“It serves as a local example of Holcim’s commitment to investing in zero emissions vehicles, thereby helping to reduce environmental impacts while delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for our customers,” Giraud said.

Holcim says that If successful and approved under Australian Design Rules (ADR) for public road use, the trial paves the way for Holcim to deliver its ECOPact low-carbon concrete products more sustainably, further assisting its customers to achieve their own climate targets.

“By replacing one diesel concrete truck with an EV we will eliminate approximately 42 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each and every year. This equates to a fuel cost saving in excess of $33,000 per annum, before further savings are extracted via lower service and maintenance costs,” said Giraud.

For its part, FMD will gain valuable insights into the performance of its larger zero emissions trucks, having already achieved market leadership in the EV Light Duty truck sector.

Foton Mobility Distibutors CEO, Neil Wang, said that working with the Holcim team has been extremely enjoyable and very educational, helping the company to better understand its customers’ requirements.

“We are looking forward to a successful trial in the harshest operating conditions in Australia, and to the valuable operational data that will enable further improvements to be made to our products,” said Wang.

“The introduction of the Foton EV concrete truck to the Australian market via this trial is the forerunner of a number of new and exciting Foton New Energy vehicles which will be introduced in 2024 in support of the transition to Net Zero. We look forward to assisting Holcim in its Accelerating Green Growth Strategy,”  Wang said.

“Holcim is accelerating green growth for people and the planet, and for us, building progress means providing low-carbon products and reducing our operational impact on the environment. Working together with Foton we are providing our customers with more options to help decarbonise the built environment.” said Cyril Giraud.

Holcim Australia  said that over the past year it has been actively working towards decarbonising its fleet operations by conducting trials on battery-powered heavy vehicles.

The company said that in March 2023, the company partnered with CHL, successfully completing a zero-emissions electric aggregates truck trial in Queensland. Following that, in September, Holcim concluded an eight-week trial of a Liugong 856HE electric Front End Loader (FEL) at its Morwell concrete plant in Victoria.