Australia Post to test electric Renaults


Four zero emission Kangoo Maxi ZEs face 12-month assessment period at two sites

Australia Post to test electric Renaults
Electric Kangoos are coming to Melbourne and Sydney

 

Australia Post has made the country’s strongest forays yet into electric commercial transport, saying it is testing the Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. (Zero Emission) electric van.

As yet unavailable in Australia, the fully electric van will be used exclusively by Australia Post from mid-year in a 12 month proof-of-concept initiative, it says, describing the move as an "important step in assessing the real-world use of electric commercial vehicles".

"The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. assessment is part of a broader strategy to explore alternative fuels at Australia Post, including using biofuel and hybrid vehicles in our current fleet," Australia Post Head of Environmental Sustainability Andrew Sellick says.

"The electric vans will be powered by accredited GreenPower from renewable energy sources to ensure we are maximising the potential to reduce our environmental impact.

"The Kangoo proof-of-concept will give us a clearer picture of the benefits of using electric powered delivery vans.

"Through this assessment we expect to see at least a 50 per cent reduction in energy costs and a 100 per cent reduction in carbon emissions to comparable combustion-engine vehicles in our fleet.

"While at this stage we are working with Renault to prove this concept, if the vans perform well across the range of metrics we'll be measuring them on, the future potential is very exciting.

"We hope this initiative will ultimately help drive the commercialisation and acceptance of electric vehicles in this country."

Renault sees a test as a positive for it to prosecute the case for electric propulsion here.

"Through our partnership with Australia Post, we are able to comprehensively investigate the business case for introducing the fully electric Kangoo Z.E. van in Australia in the future," Renault Australia's Managing Director Justin Hocevar says.

Burnishing its green credentials, Australia Post says its other alternative fuel initiatives include the rollout of:

  • 740 electric bikes that have replaced motorbikes at various locations
  • more than 100 hybrid vehicles to replace existing six cylinder vehicles, reducing emissions by over 30 per cent
  • 25 hybrid trucks introduced into subsidiary StarTrack's fleet of vehicles, improving fuel efficiency by 20 per cent on average
  • implementing 5 percent of bio-diesel to StarTrack's fuel supply in 2012 for a saving of about 820 tonnes of carbon.

Australia Post's Port Melbourne Business Hub will receive two Maxi Z.E. vans mid-year, with the remaining pair going to StarTrack House in Sydney by year-end.

Charging stations at each location will be powered by accredited GreenPower sources.

The charging station at Australia Post's Port Melbourne Business Hub is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.

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