Transport future is green

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Transport future is green

AMount Gambier forestry company is leading the nation in carbon free transport, with Australia’s first electric log truck arriving in the Blue Lake city.

Fennell Forestry is driving a new path towards a carbon-free future for the sector, officially unveiling the truck at an exclusive preview event on Tuesday to over 20 personnel including stakeholders, government and industry representatives.

Among the crowd were Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell, Member for Barker Tony Pasin, Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll and Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Development and Forest Industries Clare Scriven.

The truck is just the second electric log truck in the world and has been commissioned by the local harvest and haulage company to provide a realistic carbon reduction solution for the heavy transport industry.

Fennell Forestry Managing Director Wendy Fennell said the electric truck represented the first bold step towards ensuring the heavy transport industry meets the Federal Government’s 2030 emissions reduction targets.

“We have done our groundwork and due diligence, calculating battery power, run time and carbon-emission reduction,” she said.

“Now it’s time to get the truck loaded and on the road to see if the practical application measures up to the theoretical.

“We think it will but will be two years before we can say our Australia-first initiative has been a success.

“It’s an educated gamble, but one we feel compelled to take for the benefit of the heavy transport industry and future generations.”

Work to convert the once diesel-powered Kenworth prime mover to a fully electric battery operating system has been under way since early 2022, driven entirely by Australian technology, innovation and workmanship.

After rigorous testing, fine-tuning and anticipation, the truck is now at home in Australia’s most productive plantation forestry region – the Green Triangle.

A new charging station has been installed and tested at Fennell Forestry’s Mount Gambier depot, to ensure the vehicle can be operated and recharged as required.

On-road and in-field preliminary testing has been carried out to ensure the truck can handle the demands of forest logging.

Staff inductions have been held, plantation managers briefed and local emergency service crews have also previewed the new technology, ensuring everyone is ready when the truck finally hits the road.

Transport is Australia’s second highest contributor to carbon emissions.

A single diesel-powered log truck produces in excess of 500 tonnes of carbon every year.

Converting to an electric engine and battery system will slash this number to zero and when recharging using renewable energy, the environmental dividends will be even greater.

The electric conversion has been completed in New South Wales by Australian company Janus Electric, to comply with the high gross combination mass requirements of Australia’s heavy transport vehicles.

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