Australia’s biggest truck show may not have the pure electric focus of its bigger cousin in Hannover, Germany, but at least some truck companies were looking to get serious down their zero emission ambitions on the first day of the Brisbane event on Thursday.
There was, by one count, around 14 different electric and hydrogen truck makers touting their wares on the massive show floor, the big biannual event for the local trucking industry, which employs around half a million people.
Several were making electric and hydrogen offerings for the first time, and there were a number of new releases – some at the big end of the market, and some at the smaller end that focuses on last mile deliveries.
Volvo and Mercedes both unveiled their first heavy duty electric trucks in Australia, the FH in the case of Volvo and the e-Actross in the case of Mercedes, although both will be constrained for as long as the country’s archer road rules limit weight on the front axle.
On the hydrogen front, US-based H-Drive revealed its first hydrogen prime mover in Australia (launched by Coalition transport spokesperson Bridget McKenzie), while Hyzon unveiled its first hydrogen powered garbage truck, with other hydrogen models to come and plans to have a 1,000 truck a year manufacturing facility in Melbourne.
In the smaller end of the market, Hyundai unveiled its Might Electric light truck, which weighs in at 7.3 tonnes, and will sell for around $150,000 when it hits the market in July.
Ford also timed the release of its E-transit van for the show opener, coming in at just over $100,000, Fuso brought in its latest version of the e-Canter van – one of the original electrics in the Australian truck market – while Isuzu offered the first glimpse in Australia of its N-Series electric vans.
Iveco was another with a new offering, its e-Daily vans, while Chinese owned Foton was touting its range of electric vans led by the T5. There was also an electric Toyota Hilux from Australia’s SEA Electric and mining services group MevCo.
Hyundai’s Mighty electric truck is the most advanced and ready to market of the new offerings. It has already done 5,000kms of real world testing in NSW and claims a range of up to 200kms from its 114.5kWh battery when fully loaded, fully charged and with the air-con on.
Hyundai also has its eyes on the hydrogen fuel cell market for heavy duty trucks through is Xcient brand, and plans to have a line up of 31 electric models globally by 2030.
It is already one of the leaders in the electric passenger car markets, with its Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, along with the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 and GV80 from other group brands.
“The zero-emission truck market is gaining momentum in Australia, and as a key driver of EV adoption in the passenger and SUV market, bringing this vehicle to local truck operators is a logical step for us,” said Ted Lee, the CEO Hyundai Australia.
The company said it has had numerous enquiries from a variety of councils, governments, and retail customers, as well as from fleets looking to begin their zero-emission journey. It is targeting courier fleets, council and the last mile delivery markets.