IN AN Australian first the Toll Group, has unveiled it's 100% electric truck.
The 10-tonne Smith Electric vehicle will be used for parcel pick-ups and deliveries around Brisbane, and was on display at Toll's Larapinta depot in Brisbane's south on Monday.
Market-leading express road freight business Toll IPEC will use the all-electric vehicle during an initial three-month trial that will look at how the vehicle performs in Australian conditions, and its cost to operate.
Are electric trucks the future of transport in Australia?
This poll ended on 24 September 2013.
Yes. - 39%
No. - 17%
Only if recharging options were available in the outback. - 42%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Speaking at the unveiling, Toll Group Environment and Energy General Manager Nick Prescott said Toll is constantly looking for ways to apply new technologies and practices to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources.
"We are extremely excited to be the first to get a look at this type of vehicle," Mr Prescott said.
"It is a shining example of the sorts of things we're doing as part of our broader Smarter Green environmental program, which looks at the use of smarter fuels such as biodiesels, compressed natural gas and electric vehicles, but only when it makes operational and economic sense to do so. The Smith Electric adds to the many CNG, LNG and hybrid vehicles we operate in Australia and globally.
"Improving emissions, safety and energy consumption and costs also benefits our customers. That's why we offer lower-carbon choices through our technology, fuels and energy efficiency initiatives."
Toll will use data from on-board diagnostics that can be viewed online to monitor the vehicles' performance in real-time.
Smith Electric 10-tonne electric truck
• Range of up to 200km
• Top speed 95km/h
• Lithium-ion 80kW battery
• Requires 5-6 hours overnight charge
Patico Automotive is the exclusive distributor of the Smith Electric range in the Oceania region. Managing Director Tony Fairweather said Patico was proud to be representing such an innovative brand as Smith Electric in this region, and was looking forward to trialling the vehicle in Australia.
"Smith Electric has been able to develop a product that makes absolute commercial sense, and we're honoured Australia's leading transport and logistics company, Toll, were so keen to be the first to use it," Mr Fairweather said.
All-electric vehicles are slowly increasing in popularity overseas, where they are used by some of the world's largest companies across the US and Europe. All-electric vehicles account for around three per cent of the total US market.