Toll welcomes eCanters as ALC backs EV policy

Toll lauds incentives in Japan; Labor outlines its EV target

Toll welcomes eCanters as ALC backs EV policy
Toll's new Fuso eCanters


Toll Group has introduced two Fuso eCanters to its fleet, deployed to operate pickup and delivery services for Toll Express Japan in Tokyo.

The Daimler-manufactured vehicles are engineered to meet demand for cleaner and quieter urban deliveries, Toll says, and are expected to deliver a saving of 16 tonnes of CO2 per year.

With a payload capacity of three tonnes, the eCanter’s electric drivetrain incorporates six high-voltage lithium-ion batteries, each storing 13.8 kWh at 370 volts.

The eCanter’s top speed is limited to 80km/h with a driving range of more than 100km per charge.

In a statement that can be interpreted as being aimed at Australian policymakers, Toll Group operational services president Peter Stokes says the incentives on offer in Japan made the move to electric vehicles possible for Toll Express Japan.

Australian players have previously outlined the financial barriers to local EV uptake. Read more here

"We’re investing in renewable energy solutions as part of our Smarter Green sustainability initiatives to provide industry-leading outcomes for our customers.

"In such a highly competitive industry, the deployment of electric vehicles in Tokyo will prove a key differentiator for Toll Express Japan.

"We are always looking at ways to drive efficiency across our operations and deliver add-value to our stakeholders.

"We’ve long identified electrification as an opportunity for Toll, following successful trials in Australia five years ago.

"Whilst electric vehicles can easily be integrated into our operations and handle freight effectively with positive feedback from our drivers, the main hurdle to date has been the economic case for them.

"The FUSO eCanters mark a significant milestone for us with the alignment of price, performance and the energy density of batteries in supporting adoption of this technology in Japan.

"We hope other markets will follow suit and we remain actively engaged with our partners towards incorporating electric vehicles into our fleet."

ALC backs ALP on EV uptake

Toll’s announcement comes after Australia’s federal opposition launched its own electric vehicle policy ahead of the 2019 election.

The Labor Party says it plans to introduce a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030 and a Government electric vehicle target of 50 per cent by 2025, with an upfront tax deduction for businesses purchasing electric vehicles an additional sweetener to the deal.

The announcement was backed by Australian Logistics Council (ALC), which says there is a "clear enthusiasm of many in the freight logistics sector to deliver improved environmental outcomes".

"This industry has been among the most enthusiastic proponents of the potential of electric vehicles (EVs) to improve our environment while also providing operational and cost advantages for freight logistics businesses," ALC CEO Kirk Coningham says.

"The policy announced by the Federal Opposition contains a number of measures that can help make that potential a reality, provided that governments work closely with industry in helping deliver the right reforms."

"ALC is particularly encouraged by Labor’s plan to boost EV charging capacity in the national road network.

"Overcoming ‘range anxiety’ is an essential part of delivering swifter EV uptake by freight logistics operators, and the commitment to work with COAG to promote national consistency in charging infrastructure is most welcome."

Coningham also welcomed the aspects of the policy designed to encourage investment in EV technology.

"… especially the commitment to allow businesses to immediately deduct 20 per cent off any new EV valued at more than $20,000, and the intention to use the Australian Investment Guarantee to incentivise the upgrade of heavy vehicles to incorporate modern technology that can help reduce emissions."

"The commitment to develop a Low Emission Transport Strategy is a responsible one, and will help ensure that all modes of transport are making a contribution to emissions reduction. Industry must be a key partner in the development of that strategy."

"ALC further notes the Opposition’s commitment to introduce vehicle emissions standards, in line with those that currently operate in the United States.

"This is a significant proposal – and one that must be worked though carefully with industry if it is to succeed."

"Industry is willing to play its part in delivering better environmental outcomes for the community, and ALC would look to work with any future Labor government to ensure that such standards are introduced in an equitable fashion that does not impose an unsustainable financial burden on freight logistics operators."


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