Volvo urges Australia to enact new heavy-duty electric truck law

Volvo electric truck. (Image by Volvo Trucks.)

Volvo Group Australia urged the government to progress law changes that would allow it to sell heavy-duty electric trucks to transport and distribution companies.

The company last week agreed to the sale of 36 medium-duty electric trucks to freight company Team Global Express for use in the Sydney metropolitan area. While the vehicle, which weighs 16 tons, can operate under current legislation, larger vehicles cannot because of the weight of the heavy-duty batteries over the front axles.

“Into next year, as we want to introduce heavy-duty battery electric vehicles, we need legislation change,” Volvo Australia Chief Executive Officer Martin Merrick told Sky News Australia.

Australia last month completed a consultation on ways to get more electric passenger cars, trucks and buses into its fleet as it seeks to reduce harmful carbon emissions. The paper said heavy vehicles currently account for 22% of road transport emissions.

“What I’m hearing from the national heavy vehicle regulator is a real desire for government to get together, to accelerate this legislation change,” Merrick said. “They know what is required for us to increase the adoption rate, and from what I’ve heard there’s a real desire to do that.”

He said that while electric vehicles are ideal for freight services within metropolitan areas, there are opportunities for other operators to look at the option for longer hauls.

“We see a shift in mindset and also a desire from companies to take on electric vehicles,” he said, adding that 50% of trucks sold by Volvo are expected to be electric by 2050.

(By Tracy Withers)


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