Climate-friendly truck convoy to roll into Aussie show
Australia's biggest truck show could feature more climate-friendly heavy vehicles than diesel prime movers in a rare U-turn for the transport industry.
The Brisbane Truck Show, which will begin on Thursday, is expected to attract up to 40,000 visitors and to include "the largest display of zero-emission vehicles in the southern hemisphere".
But while the new generation of trucks could transform the transport industry and cut pollution, one manufacturer said regulations would need to change to allow more zero-emission trucks into the country and on to Australian roads.
Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia chief executive Todd Hacking said the four-day event was expected to attract a record crowd and book out more than 70,000 hotel rooms across the city.
But the event would be different this year, he said, with a focus on "sustainability and environmentally friendly transport" and an "electric avenue" precinct dedicated to green vehicles.
"We will feature the future of heavy vehicle technology including the largest display of zero-emission vehicles in the southern hemisphere... hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, hybrids, renewable diesel and much more," he said.
"It's absolutely the buzz. Almost all (manufacturers) at the show will have something on their stand that is zero-emission. The industry is taking this very seriously."
Climate-friendly trucks on display will include Australia's only hybrid truck, the Hino 300, as well as the country's first electric heavy duty trucks, Volvo Group's FM and FH Electric range.
Volvo Group emerging technology business development vice-president Paul Illmer said every truck the company showcased at the event would either be electric or a diesel vehicle that could run on a biofuel made from "repurposed vegetable oil".
Mr Illmer said demand for low and zero-emission trucks was growing but was likely to accelerate rapidly when investors could see them in person.
"After this week at the truck show, where I suspect there might be as many electric trucks as diesel trucks, the industry will get a really clear understanding that these vehicles are available now, they're not science experiments, they're not concept trucks," he said.
"Demand will grow quite loud after the industry gets an understanding of their immediate availability."
Mr Illmer said getting more electric trucks into Australia would face one hurdle, however, and called for federal and state governments to expand vehicle weight limits to allow trucks from Europe to be used on local roads.
"Australia is a really unique market where we have very conservative legislation," he said.
In addition to the Brisbane Truck Show, the nearby South Bank Truck Festival will feature two live concerts and a Guinness World Record attempt to lay the most LEGO bricks in a Mack Anthem Truck recreation.