Fleet operators are under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint; let’s face it, there’s a lot of talk about and a lot of questions on just how sustainable transport will contribute to the delivery of New Zealand’s zero carbon targets and whether New Zealand’s energy sector will generate enough electricity to meet the demand for electricity and the associated infrastructure.
So, what exactly is involved in transitioning to sustainable heavy or standard commercial vehicles and what vehicles are available in this space? How do you decide whether it is necessary to create your own charging infrastructure or utilise an existing charging network of stations? What if you are operating a heavy fleet of trucks?
Aotearoa’s first nationwide green hydrogen refuelling network
There is a growing opportunity being presented by hydrogen technologies for businesses and organisations. Hydrogen is a store of energy, playing the role of a battery. With high energy density, more energy can be stored on-board a vehicle to power heavy vehicles like buses, trucks, trains and boats.
London already fuels some of its famous double decker buses on hydrogen and South Korea is replacing 26,000 natural gas buses with hydrogen buses. California has dozens of retail hydrogen fuelling stations. Hyundai, Audi, Toyota, GM, Mercedes, Honda and many more vehicle manufacturers are producing hydrogen powered electric vehicles.
These Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) convert hydrogen into electricity needed to power the vehicle, with the only emission being water vapour. FCEV’s have the advantages of electric vehicles; with similar range and comparable refuelling times to petrol and diesel vehicles.
In New Zealand, one company spearheading Aotearoa’s first nationwide green hydrogen refuelling network from 2023 is Hiringa. They have 4 sites currently under construction with strategies in place to implement 24 stations across New Zealand by 2028. Initial locations have been prioritised to provide the best aggregation of suitable fleets in industrial complexes, commercial & logistics hubs, along with the ability to service ports and airports.
Lighter commercial EV fleet options
Transitioning to any new (EV) fleet presents new scenarios and a big one on the radar is cost. Managing the capital investment carefully in the first place and ensuring you can optimise the changes for the benefit of your staff and organisation is paramount.
Many fleet operators may lack the necessary knowledge about EV charging, including understanding the types of chargers, how to optimise charging schedules to save costs, and how to manage and maintain the charging infrastructure.
One of the first questions to ask when transitioning to an EV fleet is what is needed for a reliable charging infrastructure to be in place. Depending on the size and scope of the fleet, multiple charging stations may need to be installed and maintained, or instead of this upfront installation cost, you could utilise e-Mobility Service Providers (EMSP, EMP) or Charge Point Operators/Owners (CPO).
Start to finish – explore more of the decarbonisation journey
The New Zealand Electro Mobility Summit & Expo [Sept 5-6, 2023] is Aotearoa’s leading EV event setting the direction for sustainable transport and associated technology. Taking place at The Cloud on Auckland’s waterfront, the two day summit will give Government updates on strategies, policies and regulations and offer sessions to help with your decarbonisation journey. Discussion will include the new vehicles and technology coming to the NZ market, how energy companies will meet the increase in demand for electricity and infrastructure and other electro-mobility innovations.
Sessions to note for fleet managers are Effectively managing EV fleets, the Energy Panel [Nova Energy, BP and Electricity Networks Aotearoa]; an EV Manufacturers Panel and a representative from Hiringa Energy will present session ‘Understanding the development of hydrogen and its role in clean fleets.
If you can’t attend the Summit, the exhibition is FREE to attend!
Over 25 Exhibitors will be showcasing products and services essential to the sector. The exciting stuff
Manufacturers: See FORD’s e-mustang and the Rally Kona.
Trucks: Visit the Scania booth and check out Hyundai’s XCIENT FCEV truck. Hiringa will be there and you can ask them about their hydrogen refuelling stations.
Fleet Management: Learn what fleet management tools are available in the way of transport intelligence and SmartTrak talking vehicle telematics. Fleet managers will be interested to know about CardSmart electric, Fleetwise transport intelligence, SG Fleet leasing.
Infrastructure Requirements: There is also the option to talk with multiple infrastructure EV providers and explore the newest chargers and energy solutions available. Visit ABB, ChargeNet, Jump Charging, EV Connect/ CLenergy, DuPower, Openloop, WeEV, Z Energy, NHP Electrical Engineering and more.
Energy Services: Nova Energy want to offer power packages and Z Energy – mostly known as a fuel supplier, will be there to share on their low carbon alternatives and how they can help support your business transition your fleet to renewable energy sources.
Pre-registration for the FREE business trade expo on 5-6 September. Visit brightstar.co.nz/electromobility