Zero emission vehicle grant results in big savings for fruit grower

One of Australia’s largest fruit growers is seeing significant cost savings after receiving grant funding to trial six zero emissions vehicles and establish a solar charging station at its Wemen vineyard near Robinvale in north-west Victoria.

Grants from the Victorian Government’s $5 million Commercial Sector Innovation Fund aim to incentivise companies to take on zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) to cut their emissions and save on operating costs.

Duxton Dried Fruits – a Sunraysia-owned business – has transitioned to fully-electric Ultra Terrain Vehicles for harvests, yard duties, irrigation checks, and weed control.

This has eliminated the need for fuel trucks to come from out of town and reduced the site’s reliance on emergency fuel, resulting in substantial savings for the company.

As Henry Young, sustainability project officer at Duxton Capital Australia explained, “We’ve replaced a fuel bowser and fuel tank at the vineyard – we no longer need trucks to come from town to fill it up and don’t have to run off to town for emergency fuel which is about 40 kilometres away.”

The switch to ZEV technology is expected to slash Duxton’s yearly emissions by 29 tonnes and save the company more than $10,000 in fuel costs. Duxton is also working with the Mallee Regional Innovation Centre to encourage greater adoption of ZEV technology across the industry.

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne added, “We want to see more businesses like Duxton switch to zero emissions vehicles – it’s not only good for cutting emissions, it’s good for businesses’ bottom line.”

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