Electric vehicle, EV, News, Zero emissions

How trucking industry should transition to electric vehicles

trucking law

A $5 billion upgrade of key freight routes and more incentives for buying electric trucks were just two of the recommendations by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) to a parliamentary inquiry into the transition to electric vehicles.

The submission, one of 135 to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water, proposes measures to support businesses to upgrade their truck fleets and looks at how to support charging infrastructure.

The committee held its first public hearing in Canberra last week with further public hearings between July to September 2024 planned, but not yet scheduled.

Last week, ATA’s senior advisor Dr Christopher Wren also attended a roundtable in Melbourne to help influence the future direction of transport emissions reductions.

“The government’s plan to reduce transport emissions is ambitious, and the ATA is representing our members to try to make sure that it is realistic and supports our industry,” Wren said.

“We are working with our members and our counterparts at the Truck Industry Council and Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) to develop submissions on reducing emissions and the potential for low carbon liquid fuels in trucking.”

The Australian Government has committed to a 43 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050. The Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Roadmap and Action Plan will be the net zero sectoral plan for the transport sector.

ATA’s inquiry recommendations

  • ADR 43/04 should be amended to allow refrigerated trucks to be 2.6 metres wide.
  • ADR 43/04 should be amended to extend the safer freight vehicles concept to trailers. Refrigerated trailers should be allowed to be 2.6 metres wide.
  • The government should amend the Australian Design Rules to deliver an 8 tonne single steer axle mass limit and a 1.5 tonne increase in the tandem drive rear axle mass limit for electric trucks.
  • In the longer term, the single steer axle mass limit should increase to 8.5 tonnes, with the tandem drive rear axle mass limit increasing by 2 tonnes.
  • The government should invest an additional $5 billion in truck roads and rest areas over the ten year infrastructure pipeline. The investment should include projects to upgrade roads and bridges to handle the mass requirements of electric trucks.
  • The Australian Government should permanently reinstate full expensing for trucks and trailers.
  • The Australian Government should implement a purchase price incentive of 50 per cent of the price difference between comparable electric and conventional truck models.
  • The Australian Government should increase its focus on rapid and ultra-fast charging infrastructure for trucks, including through supporting upgrades to the power grid and its operation.
  • The Australian Government should start work now on developing a road user charging framework for zero and low emission vehicles, with the framework to be implemented once ZLEVs are better established in the market.
  • The government should rule out imposing an invoice based road user charging system on conventionally powered trucks, although it should be available on an opt-in basis.
  • The government should include electric trucks in its road user charging framework, and well as conventionally powered trucks on an opt-in basis.
  • The NTC’s forward looking cost base should be designed to support a range of road user charging models, including the current system and an invoice based system for electric trucks and operators that choose to opt in.
  • The FLCB model should be constructed to include an effective subsidy for electric vehicles, rather than cross subsidising their road use.

Inquiry submissions from NatRoad and HVIA can also be found here.

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