According to the Victorian Transport Association (VTA), the government’s $250 million Future Fuels Investment Fund is an important step in moving towards more electric and hydrogen fuelled vehicles.
The Future Fuels Investment Fund will see money poured into technology and associated policy to support the transition away from internal combustible engine (ICE) vehicles.
The focus of the strategy will include public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, commercial fleets, and household smart charging, with funds also allocated for heavy and long-distance vehicle technologies.
VTA CEO Peter Anderson says while the major manufacturers had recognised the need to include zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in their product lines, operators increasing their uptake of lower emitting Euro 6 engine technology would help dramatically reduce freight and logistics emissions in the short and medium term.
“The transition towards ZEV freight vehicles has certainly increased in recent years as expectations from the community, industry and other stakeholders about lower emissions have steadily increased,” Anderson said.
“The VTA has had a leadership role in this transition, with consistent advocacy for incentives for operators that adopt Euro 6 engine technology such as discounted registration and tolls. A progression of this is likely for operators that adopt zero-emission technology but not until these vehicles come down in cost and proliferate in the market.”
Anderson says many local government jurisdictions had already indicated zero-emission delivery vehicles may be granted better access to infrastructure in a push to incentivise their uptake by operators.
“As important as it is to transition to a future of ZEVs, we need to acknowledge the present environment and the terrific work that the fuel companies and OEMs are doing to make diesel more efficient. Over the transition it will be important to provide the necessary support to operators to be able to economically make the switch so that our supply chains aren’t compromised by policy and regulation that prices operators out of business,” Anderson said.
VTA also revealed that GET Electric recently came on board as a VTA Associate Member. The company provides electric vehicle charging infrastructure and joined the association in recognition of the opportunity to support freight operators as they consider adopting EV technologies within their fleets.
“Having a truly zero emission transport fleet will require investments in renewable energy charging solutions like solar, which is where a company like GET can provide a turnkey solution for EV chargers and solar power,” Anderson said.
“Logistics and warehousing businesses have ample roof spaces and are ideal for panels that can effectively provide a free and charging solution for ZEV freight vehicles.”