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Queensland allows heavy-duty electric trucks on major routes

A day after Followmont Transport took delivery of Volvo’s first electric prime mover, the Queensland government announced it will allow electric trucks to carry freight on some major road networks.

The first phase is the creation of a Zero Emission Heavy Vehicle Map which focuses on electric heavy vehicle access from the south-east corner of the state, extending from the NSW border at the Gold Coast to Bundaberg and as far west as Toowoomba and Warwick.

The map aims to identify which parts of the south-east Queensland road network can best accommodate zero emission heavy vehicles (ZEHV) with steer axle masses of up to 8 tonnes and 18.5 tonnes on the drive axle.

An important part of the government’s considerations, it says, has been to identify which parts of the road network could best accommodate these vehicles and facilitate access to essential supply chain linkages.

As part of a staged approach, the network map is focused on selected state-controlled roads in the south-east corner of the state where industry believes initial demand will be highest.

“This announcement will put Queensland on the map as a leader in future electric truck manufacturing,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish said.

“As transport is one of the main contributors to Queensland’s emissions zero-emission heavy vehicles can make a significant contribution to meeting Queensland’s targets to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Followmont Transport managing director Mark Tobin, who ordered the Volvo FH Electric prime mover in April 2022, was excited to hear that the road network was expanding to make the adoption of EV trucks easier.

“The investment in this truck reinforces our commitment to driving positive change and supporting a sustainable future for generations to come,” Tobin said.

“Together we can drive positive change and build a cleaner, more sustainable future for the next generation.”

Followmont’s FH Electric prime mover will be tasked with shuttling trailers between the company’s Eagle farm depot, servicing major accounts around Brisbane.

It will also run overnight linehaul to Followmont’s Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast depots.

The 540kW, 666hp truck is currently rated to 44 tonnes and has a range of up to 300km on a single charge.

A 600kW charger has been installed on site at Followmont head office for overnight charging, with plans to install charging solutions further afield as the company seeks to increase reach and range.

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