The Foton T5 EV has quickly shot to the top echelon of the all-electric truck sales charts in Australia, ending 2023 year with encouraging signs of things to come, says the local distributor for the Chinese manufacturer.
Bill Gillespie, Foton Mobility Distribution’s general manager of light duty vehicles, says Australian companies understand the environmental challenges ahead, and through Foton, have access to proven technology that performs in the real world.
“This year, we received over 200 orders, while our early deliveries have included industry leaders such as Woolworths, Kings Transport and Grace Removals, to name a few,” Gillespie said.
“For our customers, we have put a concerted effort into developing our partner ecosystem, which features energy supply, charging, leasing, finance, and aftersales support leaders who provide expertise that assists in the EV transition.”
Another highlight of this year for Gillespie has been the launch of Foton’s nationwide dealer and service network from Cairns to Perth, with more dealer points soon to be added.
With strong interest from customers in last mile logistics, local councils, construction, plus infrastructure support, Foton is looking to continue to grow its offering around the country, he added.
Foton also celebrated the introduction of the T5 EV ready-to-go tipper, featuring an Australian-made steel tipper body, which has already found favour with municipalities and landscaping companies nationwide.
The ready-to-go space for the T5 EV is expected to grow in the future with a range of solutions purpose-made for Australian conditions.
Locally, the initial electric offering focuses on the Foton T5 EV, with the model available rated to a GVM of 4500kg for car licence operation, or 6000kg for light rigid licenced drivers.
A highlight of the T5 EV model is its unique for EV 3500kg braked towing capacity, making it highly adaptable and capable of seamlessly integrating into fleets.
The T5 EV has a fully loaded range of 180km, while also offering an all-encompassing safety suite, including a low-speed pedestrian warning system, a comprehensive electronic braking and stability support package, dual SRS airbags, as well as a reversing camera and buzzer.
In its first report into low zero emission vehicle market in Australia, the Truck Industry Council, the peak industry body and advocacy voice for truck manufacturers and importers, said low and zero emission new truck sales up until September this year totalled 259 vehicles.
Of those, 94 were battery electric and 165 were hybrid electric vehicles.
For the whole of last year, out of a total of 44,379 trucks sold, a record year in terms of new truck sales, 27 of these vehicles were battery electric and 72 were hybrid electric vehicles.
“Although 2023 has seen an impressive growth of low and zero emission truck sales, it also highlights that there is a long way to go to achieve a low/zero emission fleet in Australia,” said TIC chief technical officer Mark Hammond.
“The proof of success will be determined if these sales figures can be sustained into 2024 and beyond. Tracking these sales is the purpose of this new report.”
The report further notes that while all truck manufacturers and importers are experiencing increased enquiries, the decision to purchase a vehicle is ultimately a business decision requiring operator confidence.
Barriers to faster low and zero emission heavy vehicle take up exist, such as range and payload limitations, high capital cost, lack of charging/refuelling infrastructure, and no clear understanding of the future road user charging (RUC) costing model, Hammond said.
The Low Zero Emission Truck Market Update Report can be found on the Truck Industry Council’s website, truck-industry-council.org under the Downloads tab.