Providers of battery EVs or hydrogen fuel cell EV's suitable for the commercial sector are required to meet emission targets. Opportunity exists to electrify the lighter and heavier end of the heavy vehicle fleet, particularly for vehicles that operate short haul operations in urban areas. Public transport EV solutions also required.
Both the New Zealand Government and Auckland Council have highlighted the need to reduce all greenhouse gases. As a result, the demand for green commercial and public transportation is growing rapidly. Auckland supply chain, logistics and public transport providers are looking to replace fleets with greener vehicles. Battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are required for Auckland’s commercial fleets to meet new and increasing environmental emission targets. Heavy duty charging facilities and infrastructure are also required.
New Zealand already has a world leading level of renewable electricity, which means that electrification of trucks and buses could bring substantial emission reductions in the near-term. With more than 80% of the country’s electricity generated from renewable sources, New Zealand has more than enough renewable electricity generation waiting to support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, both for domestic and commercial use. New Zealand also has a growing new green hydrogen production sector suitable for fuel cell vehicles. The Government and Auckland Council have a vested interest and are very motivated to reduce emissions. New Zealand is part of the C40 - is a network of the world’s mega-cities committed to addressing climate change - and Auckland City has declared a climate emergency.
Auckland is the major city in New Zealand, with good port, rail and airport access, with many logistics companies based here. Auckland would be an ideal base for commercial EVs, given many of the road freight routes are short haulage and return to base distances. National Road Carriers Inc say that most freight travels less than 100 km in New Zealand. Commercial freight tonnage is projected to increase by 54% across all modes (road, rail, and coastal shipping) in New Zealand. Road freight is likely to maintain its dominant market share from greater than 90% by 2042/43. (Ministry of Transport).
Public bus transport use is projected to increase significantly, especially in Auckland. Auckland Transport has a low emission 'Bus Roadmap' which outlines an entirely low emission by fleet by 2040. By 2025, new buses purchased must be low-emission, and by 2040 the entire fleet of 1300 buses, should be low-emission.
Some Government funding is already available to help companies introduce commercial EVs. Several companies are trialling battery EVs and investing in charging infrastructure with support from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund . The Provincial Growth Fund and Green Investment Finance also could have scope to support the procurement of low and zero emissions vehicles.
Another possible option for potential new vendors to help address commercial vehicle supply challenges, is to invest in building up a domestic industry that can refurbish used diesel trucks with zero-emissions options. Heavy duty charging station infrastructure is another opportunity that will exist to meet the heavy-duty, rapid charge requirements, of the growing number commercial EVs.