Australia, Company News, Electric Trucks, Sponsored Content, Transport Features, Transport News

Eurocold sharpens electric focus with maiden vehicle delivery

Following its goal to lead the electric truck transition in Australia, Eurocold and its futures business Revora have broken new ground in the EV truck rental market

Since Eurocold was first founded as a distributor of ISOKIT Isothermal solutions out of Europe into the Australian market, it has always sought to stay a step ahead. Instead of becoming another supplier for the local transport industry, Eurocold quickly became a different option, broadening outside of simply supplying either a refrigerated truck chassis and body and deciding to become a rental option for all parts of a refrigerated transport vehicle.

This involved establishing a network of industry relationships that has now held Eurocold in good stead to push into the sustainable sphere.

“A couple of years ago, we put in real effort to ensure we had good partnerships with OEMs in the industry to put good options together,” Eurocold managing director Avraam Solomon told ATN.

“Eurocold was in the middle of a ramp-up period in Australia and we decided to look at a five to 10 year plan that involved potentially converting some of our fleet to alternative fuel models.”

It was this forward thinking that saw Eurocold put the wheels in motion to introduce zero-emissions options to its fleet. With a goal of having 1000 trucks in its catalogue, Eurocold decided to first invest in electric vehicle technology to increase its sustainability as a business.

“We had to decide what percentage of our fleet we want to be EV by the end of the decade,” Solomon says.

“We want to be the leader in this space when the transition ramps up, so we moved early to ensure we don’t end up behind in developing relationships, products, assets and skilled people.”

With the business’ key pillars focusing on safety and sustainability, Eurocold’s electric vehicle emphasis resulted in the creation of its futures business, Revora, with an expert in Nathan Gore-Brown appointed to lead the operation.

“We invested in him because he’s someone who knows the electrical requirements in the industry and lives and breathes the technology,” Solomon says.

“From there, we’ve leveraged this business to form new relationships with OEMs and find the right product options for our customers according to their weight, battery and range requirements.”

Solomon says he’s proud of the way the whole Eurocold business has worked together to make customer priorities their overarching responsibility. The investigation for a suitable model ended with Foton Mobility and its three-pallet last-mile logistics truck model.

Solomon says that, although Eurocold could’ve brought other brand models to the market sooner, the higher payload and pallet requirements made the Foton vehicles the perfect option.

“When it came to the larger vehicle options, we spoke to both Volvo and Daimler, with Volvo’s eight-pallet FL being a standout,” Solomon says.

With Foton and Volvo involved as key partners in the electric space, Eurocold has now ventured out into the market, deploying its first eight pallet Volvo–Revora EV vehicle with long-term partners JD Refrigerated Transport.

“The combination of our dynamic partnerships with JD Refrigerated Transport, Ingham’s Group Limited, Collins Foods Limited and KFC (Yum! Brands Subsidiary), coupled with advanced electric technology, epitomises our unified commitment to achieving a zero-emissions future,” Solomon says.

Image: Eurocold

Solomon notes that Eurocold’s focus extended beyond just the truck; the company collaborated closely with JD Refrigerated Transport and Ingham’s to install chargers at its Brisbane depot, ensuring the truck’s deployment was seamless.

“You’ve got to keep the project moving, and having a dedicated team of people is crucial for that part of the business,” Solomon says.

“We know that we have to invest more money into sustainable truck technology – and we’re looking at other options to complement our range, such as a Ford eTransit van that is being tested in our factory currently.”

For many operators, taking the leap to buy and run an electric refrigerated truck can be daunting. The increased battery requirements to power the refrigerated parts of the vehicle means that the right model and infrastructure set-up is crucial.

This is where Eurocold’s rental model has come to the fore – now companies can complete three, six or 12 month rental periods with electric trucks and receive support and expertise over that period to test the technology before they make a major purchase investment.

“Long-term rental agreements tend to last anywhere between one and four years, but we’re looking at trialling these shorter periods with partners to see if the truck meets their expectations,” Solomon says.

“We’ve found that the more three-month rental agreements we can set up, the better for our assets. We’re looking at getting up to 20 separate three-month trials done with the industry to help determine the right products as soon as possible.”

The way forward has been carefully targeted – Eurocold is looking at having roughly 10 to 12 electric vehicles in its fleet by the year’s end, with an end goal of having anywhere between 30 and 50 by the end of next year. With significant businesses showing interest in the technology, Solomon is going to keep pushing to deliver a sustainable option for operators.

“We’ll then turn to infrastructure – as a country we’ve got a long way to go, so we’ll need to make some decisions about what needs to be done to invest in charging infrastructure,” Solomon says.

“We’re currently finding homes for our electric models, but it’s not currently for everyone, so we want to educate the industry about what we can bring to the table.”

This infrastructure focus has already come under the microscope, with Eurocold Chief Commercial Officer Kanani Draper saying Eurocold has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Yurika to learn more about power supply challenges.

“We’ve evaluated a range of chargers and found the right ones for the truck side,” Draper told ATN.

“We feel that rental has a great role to play in the industry to test any concerns. We know that this can be done without taking massive charging infrastructure steps.”

From thermal efficiency relating to pre-cooling trucks to the continual investment in the latest zero-emissions vehicle technology, Eurocold is leaving no stone unturned in its search for more knowledge. Having already come a long way in a short time in the electric space, the brand now wants to remain at the forefront of change.

“We’ve demonstrated we can build the trucks and develop good partnerships with major EV OEMs, so now we need to find the customers that help us get the infrastructure right,” Draper says.

“Everyone is trying to find their place in this space, so we’re continuing to improve our knowledge and capabilities to help customers.”

Previous ArticleNext Article
  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend