With growing demand for sustainable automotives on our Australian roads, when should Australians start to see Zero Emission trucks and buses?
Written by Kiana Williams
In 2021, the Australian Government undated the Nationally Determined Contribution at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change¹. In the Contribution, one of the targets to be achieved was to adopt a target of zero emissions by 2050¹ (read more here).
Is cutting down emissions within Australia to zero possible by then?
Well, the Automotive industry has had a head-start working on making sustainable vehicles, such as electric cars². A study conducted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment in 2021 compared Greenhouse emissions from diesel, electric and petroleum vehicles and found that electric cars produce thirty per cent less emissions than petroleum cars and 23% less emissions than diesel vehicles² read more.
Last year’s Australian Motor Vehicle Census found that Electric vehicle registrations had also increased by 62.3% (compared to the previous year)³.
With car companies continually looking into sustainable alternatives, what else can be done to help reach the target?
Another way is combating the Heavy Transport industry, including Trucks and Buses. According to CALSTART’s Global Director Cristiano Façanha, “Trucks and buses are responsible for over a third of global on-road fuel and greenhouse gases … that lead to serious air pollution and health impacts”.
With the Heavy Transport industry making up the minority on Australian roads, they are contributing to the most harmful emissions.
While arguably in contrast to personal automotive vehicles, swapping from petroleum/diesel to electric or even hydrogen truck alternatives is not as easy for the trucking and bus industry. Constraints, including financial and lack of electric manufacturers, could make some companies unsure about the transition to zero⁴. With petrol & diesel prices skyrocketing, the transition to zero emissions has become all the easier with running costs decreasing with the switch to electric/hydrogen⁴.
Another incentive to switch is that international electric/hydrogen manufacturers are launching their trucks and buses in Australia (eliminating the lack of sustainable supply issue)6.
Following a recent announcement from Neil Wang, the CEO of Foton Mobility, Foton Mobility will be launching its iBLUE Electric Truck range in Australia. Truck and Bus drivers can now find cheaper alternatives that are cheap to run and are environmentally friendly (decreasing overall harmful emissions)6.
While working towards zero-emission by 2050 can not be solely solved by people using electric cars, trucks and buses – it is trucking in the right direction and rolling Australians into a brighter future!
¹ Australian Government. 2021. Affirming Australia’s net zero emissions by 2050 target. Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Affirming Australia’s net zero emissions by 2050 target | Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.
² Bender, Theresa. 2021. Tesla and sustainability: Is Tesla really that green? Cooler Future. https://www.coolerfuture.com/blog/tesla-sustainability#:~:text=Tesla%27s%20best-known%20product%2C%20its%20electric%20vehicles%2C%20are%20actually,they%20emit%20much%20less%20per%20mile%20driven.%202.
³Australian Government. 2021. Motor Vehicle Census, Australia. Australian Bureau of Statistics. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/industry/tourism-and-transport/motor-vehicle-census-australia/latest-release.
⁴ Façanha, Cristiano. 2022. Zero-emission trucks and buses: A part of the climate solution. Economist Impact. https://impact.economist.com/sustainability/project/the-rev-index/zero-emission-trucks-and-buses/.
⁵ Hagon, Toby.2022. The trucking industry, EV Council want electric trucks to change Australian roads. EV Central. https://evcentral.com.au/trucking-industry-ev-council-want-electric-trucks-to-change-australian-roads
6 The Fan Team. 2022. Foton iBlue electric truck launched at Australasian Fleet Conference and Exhibition. Fleet Auto News. https://fleetautonews.com.au/foton-iblue-electric-truck-launched-at-australasian-fleet-conference-and-exhibition/.