Team Global Express joins forces with ARENA to deliver ‘Depot of the Future’ BEV trial

Team Global Express, one of Australia’s largest logistics and freight firms, is teaming up with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to deploy 60 electric trucks at its Bungarribee, western Sydney depot to facilitate what they term the ‘Depot of the Future.’

One of the most strategic locations for Global Express’ Sydney operations, the Bungarribee site will feature 60 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) plus on-site chargers and battery storage. This represents a third of the current fleet of vehicles at the depot.

The Depot of the Future will replace 60 out of 200 “express parcels” vehicles based in western Sydney.

36 of these vehicles will be 16.7t Volvo eFL electric trucks, with the remainder being 7.5t Daimler Fuso eCanters.

The trucks will use a “back to base” model, returning to the depot after deliveries for charging.

ARENA is funding $20.1 million of the total $44.3 million project, part of the larger scale Driving the Nation funding initiative. Driving The Nation also supports the rollout of public EV and home smart charging.

The funding will support two variants of chargers at Bugarribee; 47x 7/22kW AC standard chargers and 2x 400kW DC fast-chargers.

Volvo says its FL models recharge to full in 11 hours via AC standard charging and two hours via fast-charger. The Fuso models charge to full in 5 hours on AC and one and a half hours on DC.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen says this is one of the world’s largest trials of BEV trucks, and possibly Australia’s largest trial of small to medium rigid BEVs in an urban environment.

“As a Western Sydney resident, I see many, many Team Global Express trucks driving for our community.”

“Emissions will be down, running costs for Team Global Express will be down and driver satisfaction and customer satisfaction will be up.”

According to the Climate Change Authority, light commercial vehicles such as the 6,500-strong truck fleet Team Global Express operates, account for 7% of Australia’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Passenger vehicles are responsible for about 8%. Both together comprise third highest emissions’ sector, behind non-renewable energy generation, and “stationary sources” such as manufacturing, mining, and other fuel use.

All-electric vehicles charged with renewable energy could reduce overall emissions down to zero, a key outcome of road transportation decarbonisation. The Government hopes to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Results from the trial will be shared among stakeholders to learn and improve upon the transition for similar sectors and industries. ARENA CEO Darren Miller says “operating a fleet of battery electric vehicle trucks will help to address some of the key barriers to adoption, including overcoming the higher upfront purchase price, and uncertainty of integrating electric vehicles into existing operations at scale.

“Understanding these barriers will help build market confidence around BEV technology and show that transition to heavy electric vehicles is possible.”

Since 2016, ARENA has granted more than $100 million to the transport industry. Some of the projects are fast charging networks, home smart charging trials, and infrastructure for refuelling hydrogen.