Hyzon Hydrogen powered 6x4 tractor unit due on the road in 2022.
With over 7,000 heavy commercial vehicles in its fleet, and about 4,000 of those on long term lease to customers across New Zealand, TR Group want to ensure they are making a positive difference.
“We want to leave a lasting imprint,” says Shane O’Grady, TR Group’s national sales manager.
“Doing the right thing is acknowledging that we have a big part to play in the adoption of low and no-emission transport technology for heavy commercial vehicles in New Zealand due to our position in the industry.”
There are new strides being made every day when it comes to reducing carbon footprint, but often these technologies can be hard to source as well as costly. By taking on the risk and doing due diligence, TR Group hopes to make these new technologies more readily available and to encourage their uptake.
“There is so much going on in this space now, it can be sometimes hard to keep pace.”
A helping hand from OEMs
According to O’Grady, all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have been making strides towards carbon emission reductions in their vehicles.
“The specifications of new vehicles going on the road today both in relation to safety and environmental impact are right up there.
“The journey from Euro 3 to Euro 6 emission standards has happened quickly in the context of the development of ICE’s (Internal Combustion Engines), so the OEMs should be given credit for that.”
Across Australia and New Zealand, TR Group has over 400 vehicles on order for its rental fleet, all of which have been specified with Euro 6 as a minimum standard.
“Given we sell on average 350-400 vehicles across our rental and lease fleet per year, this means that we are decreasing the average age of our fleet quickly, and consequently our carbon emissions are reducing as we bring higher standard, more fuel-efficient vehicles in,” says O’Grady.
TR has over 20 BEV trucks in its fleet already across its rental and lease fleets. Perhaps the most exciting recent development in this space is the to the New Zealand market. And this project is one that TR Group played a major part in.
Supplied by FUSO, the fully electric eCanter truck was provided to customers (Genesis, Vector, Bidfood, Vulcan Steel, to name a few) through TR Group by way of a fully maintained operating lease.
“The Genesis eCanter was the first one on the road and was an exciting time for all involved,” says O’Grady.
“We have over 20 of these either on the road now or at various stages of build around the country.
“Given the amount of interest they have generated and the conversations we are having, we are confident we’ll see significantly more in the next six to 12 months.”
As well as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), such as the lithium-ion-powered Fuso eCanter, TR Group is also taking its first step in hydrogen fuel cell technology for heavy commercial vehicles.
“We accept that BEVs have a place and will meet a need in metro-type applications and do it well,” says O’Grady.
But the company’s goal is to also meet the need of the linehaul operator – with hydrogen – by ordering 20 6x4 tractor units from Hyzon.
The first four hydrogen-powered vehicles will land on the road in August next year, with an aim to have all 20 up and running three months after that in November.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) has been a great support in this project for both TR Group and its hydrogen supplier, Hiringa Energy.
The trucks will be 58 tonne GCM and have a range of over 600kms with a 15-minute refuelling time.
“To think we will have 20 HVCs running linehaul up and down New Zealand by this time next year creating zero emissions is a prospect we are pretty excited about.”
“We’d love to do even more, so encourage anyone who is looking for assistance in decarbonising their fleet to get in contact so we can talk through the options.”