Australia’s largest-ever showcase of commercial zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) is poised to be on display in Brisbane in May, including from both major OEMs as well as a raft of new players
The 2023 Brisbane Truck Show is set to showcase the biggest collection of commercial zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) ever assembled under the one roof in Australia.
With just 47 days until the show, details are coming thick and fast of a raft of ZEVs that will be on display at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre from May 18-21.
They range from battery electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEV), to more conventional trucks powered by renewable diesel.
And they’ll not only include current and future offerings from the major OEMs, but from a raft of emerging players such as HDrive, Hyzon Motors and SEA Electric.
Here’s what we know so far!
Mercedes-Benz Trucks and its parent company Daimler Truck are pivoting hard towards zero-emission vehicles, with the brand announcing its plans to sell only CO2-neutral vehicles in North America, Europe and Japan from 2039.
The German-based giant also launched the eActros late last year in Europe, the company’s battery-powered, near-silent version of its hugely popular Actros model, and the good news is it’s coming to Australia.
Well, sort of … four evaluation units arrived Down Under in early 2023 for extensive trials, while a single unit will also be trialled across the ditch in New Zealand.
The brand will be keen to see how its battery-electric technology — which is already in production and out on the road in Europe — fairs in Australian conditions.
The eActros is best suited to heavy-duty, short-radius distribution, however, Mercedes-Benz Trucks did just lift the curtain on an all-new ‘Long-Haul’ variant of the eActros with a claimed range of 500km. This could be a game changer.
Additionally, validation trials commenced in early 2023 for the new Mercedes-Benz all-electric eEconic, which has been designed to work in densely-populated urban areas, with waste collection its bread and butter.
The eActros and the eEconic share the same electric twin-motor drivetrain pushing out a maximum 442hp (330kW). For battery capacity, the eEconic offers three lithium-ion battery packs at a combined 336kWh, while the eActros offers an option of a fourth battery pack totalling 448kWh.
At the same time, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has signaled its intention to expand its range of vehicles to include series-produced trucks with hydrogen-based fuel cell drives in the second half of this decade.
The first prototypes of the GenH2 truck, which is based on the conventional Actros long-haul truck in terms of payload, range and performance, are already undergoing rigorous testing in Europe – both on its in-house test track and on public roads.
Fitted with two special liquid hydrogen tanks with a combined capacity of 80 kilograms of hydrogen, and a particularly powerful fuel-cell system, the development goal is a range of up to 1,000 kilometres and more and a payload of 25 tonnes at a gross weight of 40 tonnes, making the truck suitable for heavy long-distance transport.
Location: Stand 44, Hall 4
DAF launched the XD and XF Electric trucks at the IAA fair in Hanover in September 2022. The fully electric PACCAR drivelines deliver outputs of between 170 and 350kW (210 to 480hp).
The marque offers a choice of battery packs using a modular approach. The smallest pack contains two ‘strings’ which together have a capacity of 210kWh and offers a range of up to 200 kilometres. The largest has five ‘strings’ with a capacity of 525kWh and can achieve a range of over 500 kilometres.
The electric trucks are perfectly equipped for rapid charging and even the largest battery pack can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in just over 45 minutes.
DAF is expanding its production facilities with a new electric truck assembly factory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, where the production of the DAF XD and XF Electric will commence in the northern spring.
Could we see the DAF XD, which was recently crowned ‘International Truck of the Year 2023’, and/or XF in Brisbane in May?
Or what about the DAF XF H2 Innovation Truck, powered by a hydrogen internal combustion engine, which was recently unveiled and subsequently won the ‘Truck Innovation Award 2022’ at the Solutrans Truck & Transport Exhibition in France.
While many of the big car and truck OEMs are developing hydrogen fuel cell technology, DAF’s XF H2 has taken a different route, developing an internal combustion engine that runs on hydrogen.
DAF believes a ‘green’ hydrogen combustion engine eliminates the need for large energy storage systems as well as the lower cooling capabilities needed and lower sensitivity to hydrogen purity.
Using hydrogen to fuel trucks also means that in many areas, we can make use of existing fuel distribution networks, an interesting prospect for Australia.
Stand 40, Hall 4
DAF’s North American sibling, Kenworth, has also been experimenting with new technologies.
Parent company PACCAR teamed up with Toyota a few years ago to develop and trial the Kenworth ZECT and the FCEV, two zero-emissions T680 trucks that are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
The Kenworth T680 FCEV, which features a Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain offering 470hp, has a claimed range of 560km and a 15-minute refuel time.
Most recently, Kenworth has also moved into battery-electric truck production, unveiling its zero-emissions Kenworth T680E battery-electric vehicle at the Las Vegas CES 2022 show.
It’s the company’s first heavy-duty battery-electric truck and features a 396kWh battery. Its Meritor 14Xe powertrain pushes out 536hp, has a reported range of 241km and a claimed charging time of three hours.
Location: Stand 40, Hall 4
Fuso’s electric variant of its popular Canter truck, the eCanter, was a head turner at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show.
Despite global announcements regarding the next-gen Fuso eCanter, Daimler Truck Australia is being tight-lipped about its arrival Down Under.
“There is a lot of excitement around the next-generation eCanter and we look forward to updating our customers about this when it is set to arrive locally.
“Our priority is to undertake a rigorous test and validation program in local conditions as a first step,” a company spokesman says.
With the Mercedes-Benz eActros and eEconic arriving here for testing, Daimler Truck Australia will have all bases covered in the electric truck market.
Location: Stand 44, Hall 4
Hopefully by now, many are aware of SEA Electric and the progress it’s made in its electrification journey.
If not, you should because this local company created the first Australian-made electric truck — the SEA300 — out of its Dandenong facility.
The company’s flagship SEA 300 and 500 series vehicles are based on Hino 300 and 500 light- and medium-duty trucks, sharing the same chassis and cabin.
If SEA Electric’s debut at the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show highlights anything, it’s that the company means business and has no plans to be shadowed by bigger players in the market, as evidenced by recent deals with Hino and Mack to incorporate its proprietary power system in key models in the United States.
Location: Stand 57, Hall 1
Volvo has worked hard to become a leader in the EV truck space. Just recently, Volvo Group Australia President Martin Merrick announced the group’s intentions to build battery-electric vehicles at its Brisbane facility by 2025.
With five electric models on the market (two currently available here in Australia), the Swedes have positioned themselves at the forefront of EV technology.
The current models available in Australia include the Volvo FE Electric, a 300hp (225kW) rigid, that runs a dual-motor driveline with a two-speed gearbox with three to four batteries; and the FL Electric, a medium-duty truck designed for city rigid work that’s powered by a single electric motor with a two-speed gearbox.
The range for the FE is up to 200km and its gross combination weight pushes up to 26 tonnes and comes in 4×2 or 6×2 axle configurations.
The FL claims a 300km range and pushes out 174hp (130kw) from its single electric motor. The FL also boasts GCW of up to 16 tonnes and has four battery packs at 265kWh.
Charging time takes 11 hours with Alternating Current (AC) and two hours with Direct Current (DC) charging.
Environmental sustainability has always been front of mind for the Volvo Group, so it’s no surprise to see it ready for the next phase of truck propulsion.
Location: Stand 49, Hall 3
HDrive, a subsidiary of Australian specialist vehicle manufacturer BLK Auto, has entered the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (HFCV) truck market, with a range of trucks now in production after a successful design and engineering period.
The company has already taken several orders for its HFCV trucks, including for a dual-control side lifter waste truck and a 6×4 prime mover recently purchased by fuel provider Pure Hydrogen for use by its clients.
HDrive’s HFCV trucks have been designed and engineered in Australia, using high-quality components sourced from its trusted network of suppliers to develop the company’s fuel cell and other market-leading technology.
They are suitable for a variety of heavy-duty industries, with several drivetrain options available, including: prime mover hydrogen trucks (4×2 drivetrain, 24-tonne gross vehicle weight; 6×4, 18-tonne to 70-tonne GVW; and 8×4, 49-tonne GVW); refuelling trucks (6×4); dual control waste trucks (6×4); and cement mixer trucks (8×4, 10×4).
HDrive’s innovation in commercial vehicles hasn’t stopped at hydrogen trucks. An autonomous battery electric vehicle (BEV) terminal tractor, which can haul loads of up to 75 tonnes, is also being produced for use in major ports and warehouse operations.
Location: Stand 130, Great Hall
Hyundai Motor Company Australia has entered the electric commercial vehicle market with the arrival of the 4×2 Mighty electric truck, which is on display for the first time in public at the show.
Rated at up to 7.3-tonnes GVM, with a payload of up to 3.5-tonnes and a laden range in excess of 200km, the Mighty is suited for final-mile deliveries for operators seeking a zero-tailpipe emission vehicle.
It is quiet and smooth to drive and comes with many safety and comfort features, including forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning and electronic stability control.
Trucks displayed at the Brisbane show include a flatbed and a pantech box, with further body options available once sales commence.
The Hyundai Mighty electric truck is powered by a 120kW, 320Nm traction motor fed by a 114.5kWh battery system with rapid DC charging capability that can replenish the batteries from 10 per cent to 100 per cent in under 70 minutes.
Deliveries begin mid-year via a national network of commercial vehicle dealers.
A five-year/200,000km vehicle warranty and eight-year/400,000km battery warranty are standard.
Location: Stand 112, Hall 1
Hyzon has unveiled its heavy rigid truck platform, an Australian-designed and built hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.
The company is developing the heavy rigid truck as a global platform, adaptable for international markets, with a multitude of vehicle use cases, such as garbage compactors, tilt trays and flatbed trucks.
Leading the development of the global heavy rigid program in Australia has allowed Hyzon to tap into the rich resources of highly skilled local engineering and technical knowledge to build a team, process, and product for its global and domestic markets, the company says.
Last year, the US-based company announced development of a purpose-built assembly plant in the south-east Melbourne suburb of Noble Park, to locally manufacture hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles.
Hyzon’s team has designed and built the first three trucks over the past year, replacing the diesel engines in new Mercedes trucks with hydrogen gas tanks and a fuel cell.
The heavy rigid truck is expected to hit the road in a number of commercial trials in Australia and New Zealand throughout 2023.
Hyzon is showcasing the heavy rigid FCEV at the South Bank Truck Festival, an outdoor truck and trailer display at Little Stanley Street and Stanley Street Plaza which runs alongside the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show.
Location: Stand 147, Hall 2
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