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New Zealand’s first all-electric water truck for Eastland Port

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today that $3.8 million in new funding has been awarded to 21 innovative electric vehicle projects, in the seventh round of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund administered by EECA.

Eastland Port was one of the successful applicants, receiving a grant of $298,000 towards the purchase of New Zealand’s first all-electric water truck.

"This has been a long time in the planning, and is a strong statement about our commitment towards a carbon-free future for Tairāwhiti," said Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd.

"We will put the co-funding towards buying a 27 tonne electric truck that will be used for watering and dust suppression at Eastland Port. We’ll also install a 60kW fast charging station on the port.

"We were originally awarded a grant from the LEVCF for this project back in 2018. However, after further scoping the available options, we decided not to proceed until we could source and customise the ideal electric truck for our unique requirements.

"Having done so, we reapplied and are delighted that we’ve been successful. We’re now progressing with the project, and will confirm final costings, timeframes and delivery date in due course."

The electric water truck will be used to suppress dust in the port and log yards. This a task that is currently carried out with a traditional diesel-powered truck.

"It will help us reduce noise levels and our carbon footprint," explained Mr Todd. "Using the EECA CO2 emissions calculator, we worked out our diesel water truck produced 0.77 tonnes of CO2 in just 35 days. Incorporating an electric truck into the port’s fleet will be a substantial step towards significantly cutting our emissions."

The project is intended to be a long term demonstration of how electric trucks may work for specialised tasks.

"We want to find out whether electric vehicles could be suitable for other operations within diesel-dominated industries like forestry, marine and logistics. We’ll be gathering data and sharing learnings with businesses and the wider community."

In 2019 Eastland Group and their shareholder, Trust Tairāwhiti, signed up to the Climate Leaders Coalition. The organisation aims to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy.

"We believe that we can be a leader in steering Tairāwhiti towards zero carbon through renewable energy and facilitating the transition to electric vehicles," added Mr Todd.

"The introduction of a new electric water truck at the port is a very positive step on this journey."

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