Victoria has unveiled its plan to allow heavy-duty electric trucks to operate with a 7.5-tonne weight on the steer axle. This concession is considered essential for heavy-duty electric trucks due to the design and positioning of their batteries, which require additional weight distribution on the front axle.
This new policy will be applicable to specific roads identified under a Low/Zero Emission Heavy Vehicle (LZEHV) access map. What sets this announcement apart is that the weight concession is not a trial but a permanent change.
This ground-breaking move follows a significant shift on the federal level. The Federal government recently introduced the Safer Freight Vehicles package, allowing wider trucks with a width of up to 2.55 meters.
Prior to this change, the maximum width was restricted to 2.5 meters, and there was a 6.5-ton steer axle weight limit. These restrictions posed significant obstacles to the operation of electric trucks in Australia.
Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne emphasized the importance of reducing emissions in the transport sector and the transition to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) powered by clean energy to meet environmental goals.
“Achieving substantial reductions in transport sector emissions will require us to rapidly reduce the existing petroleum-fuelled vehicle fleet and shift freight to rail whilst we begin the transition to zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) powered by clean energy,” Horne said.
Currently, South Australia and New South Wales have introduced higher axle weight limits on a trial basis, but other regions have yet to announce any changes to accommodate electric trucks fully.
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