Truck dimension rules blocking electric, hydrogen and cleaner vehicles

The truck dimension rules must be changed to make zero and low emission trucks more available, CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Andrew McKellar said today.

Mr McKellar was releasing the ATA’s submission on heavy vehicle emission standards. The submission recommends increased width and mass for diesel trucks that meet the Euro VI emission standard or equivalent, as well as electric and hydrogen trucks.

“Australian trucks have a width of 2.5 metres, with extra allowances for equipment such as tautliner curtain buckles, lights and removable load restraint equipment. In contrast, trucks in Europe are generally 2.55 metres wide and trucks in the US are 2.6 metres wide,” Mr McKellar said.

“Electric and hydrogen trucks developed overseas will need to be redesigned for the Australian market to meet our dimension rules. This will slow the rollout of zero emission trucks in Australia.”

Mr McKellar said an increase in vehicle mass was also needed to encourage the purchase of newer, greener vehicles.

“Euro VI, battery electric and hydrogen trucks are heavier, which reduces the amount of freight they can carry and their commercial viability,” he said.

“There needs to be an extra 500 kg axle mass allowance for single steer trucks and an extra 1000 kg for twin steer trucks,” he said.

Mr McKellar said zero emission trucks were a reality and needed the right policy settings to increase their uptake in Australia.

“We are getting to the stage now where international vehicle manufacturers are bringing electric vehicles to the market. To support this, government must ensure vehicle standards regulations are flexible enough to allow that to happen,” he said.

He said the Government’s proposal to mandate Euro VI or the equivalent US/Japanese standards should be brought forward to 1 January 2024 for new truck models and 1 January 2025 for new trucks generally.

The Government’s current proposal is to mandate Euro VI or its equivalents for new truck models from 1 July 2027 and for new trucks from 1 July 2028.

“After extensive consultation with our members, the ATA considers that we can now mandate Euro VI and its equivalent standards earlier than originally planned, but the mass and width changes must come into force well in advance of 1 January 2024,” he said.

The Euro series of standards regulate the emission of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulates by on-road heavy diesel vehicles. All new trucks sold in Australia must, as a minimum, meet the Euro V standard or the equivalent US/Japanese standards.

View the submission

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