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Electric truck completes 1185-kilometre trip

A Volvo FH Electric heavy-duty has completed Australia’s longest electric truck journey to date, making the 1185-kilometre journey from Brisbane to Canberra.

The journey, which took approximately 19 hours to complete including charging time, comes after new regulatory changes came into play, allowing truck widths to increase from 2.5m to 2.55m.

With this change, the Volvo FH Electric heavy-duty truck can now legally drive on Australian roads.

The record-breaking trip saw the truck welcomed to the ACT by ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman MLA and Volvo Group’s vice president emerging technology, Paul Illmer at The National Arboretum in Canberra today.

The aim of the trip was t help highlight the possibilities of zero emissions interstate freight whilst transporting another Volvo Trucks Electric cab chassis.

This journey will coincide with the delivery to Canberra of Australia’s first zero-emissions logistics vehicle for the emergency services, an FL Electric for the ACT Emergency Service Agency (ESA). The vehicle was first unveiled in August this year at the Brisbane Australasian Fire and Authorities (AFAC) conference.

“At Volvo Group we are always trying to push the boundaries to decarbonise heavy transportation faster,” said Volvo Group Australia president, Martin Merrick. “Today we have set a new record for the longest electric truck journey in Australia. This is also the maiden voyage for the FH Electric which has only recently been able to get onto the road thanks to changes to width and weight restrictions.

“Recently announced provisional changes to front-axle weight restrictions have enabled this journey and have shown what is possible in terms of zero emission intercity transportation, but we need to see permanent changes harmonised on front axle weight restrictions across every state and territory to accelerate next generation sustainable mobility and meet our climate targets.”

In order to complete the 1184.5km leg, the Volvo FH Electric has to be charged completely a minimum of four times.

With truck drivers required to take seven hours of stationary rest time after 12 hours of driving, Volvo Group will use compulsory rest times to charge the Volvo FH Electric Truck.

The Volvo FH Electric used for the trip is the largest truck in Volvo’s heavy-duty electric truck stable. Launched earlier this year, it is one of the only OEM heavy duty electric trucks available to order in the country capable of regional haulage with a range of up to 300km.

The ACT ESA vehicle is a FL Electric and will be used for logistics tasks by the ACT ESA. Following initial Volvo driver development training and vehicle implementation processes, this first vehicle is expected to go into operational service in and around the ACT in early 2024.

Volvo Group Australia has been manufacturing trucks in Australia for 50 years and with the enabling regulatory settings plans to be manufacturing its range of FM and FH heavy-duty electric vehicles at its Wacol production facility from as early as 2027.

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