Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hydrogen truck trial to hit the road in Newcastle

City of Newcastle Council has voted to undertake a 12-month trial of a hydrogen-powered waste collection truck.

The Council has partnered with Australian clean energy business, Pure Hydrogen, to roll out the rear-loading hydrogen fuel cell electric truck as part of Council’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions from its vehicles and equipment.

The lease will include the option for a four-year extension based on the outcome of the trial, with the zero-emissions waste collections truck expected to make its maiden round in Newcastle later this year.

Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes said the trial aligns with a key priority under City of Newcastle’s Environment Strategy.

“We’re seeing zero-emissions vehicles emerge as a marker of the best-run cities in the world and this trial is a step forward that Newcastle can and should be proud of,” she said.

“This truck will help many of us get a better sleep on collection days. We can also rest easy knowing it’s helping make our city a cleaner, quieter, more sustainable place to live.

“We’re committed to delivering a 100% reduction in carbon emissions from City of Newcastle vehicles during the next decade and we’ll continue driving toward this goal by trialling new technologies that contribute to this transition.”

Deputy Lord Mayor, Declan Clausen said the trial was consistent with Newcastle’s emerging future as a global hydrogen leader.

“Newcastle is the only hydrogen hub designated by both the NSW and Australian governments,” Cr Clausen said.

“I’m proud that Newcastle is taking real action with this hydrogen vehicle trial and I’m proud that our work is shaping the Hunter’s hydrogen transition road map.”

Unlike diesel trucks, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles emit no exhaust, minimal heat and a trickle of pure water. They are also significantly quieter. Newcastle joins cities such as Tokyo and Amsterdam in adding a hydrogen vehicle to its waste collection fleet.

The Newcastle truck will run on Green Hydrogen. While the hydrogen energy to run the truck will be produced by electrolysis using grid power, with Green Power Purchase agreements to offset any carbon emissions.

Business Hunter Chief Executive Officer, Bob Hawes welcomed Council’s support of green hydrogen technology.

“This isn’t just ticking a sustainability box, this is the way the smartest cities are heading and Newcastle and the Hunter needs leadership prepared to be early adopters for communities and industry to be competitive and relevant,” Mr Hawes said. 

“City of Newcastle is backing an Australian business and backing a crucial, zero-emissions technology pathway to net zero is going to be very challenging.

“Every initiative adopted in using new technology in the public and private sector is going to count.”

The Council says data from the 12-month trial will help inform the future purchases of waste trucks. Over the next four years, the Council is expected to replace a significant number of its existing diesel powered green and red lid bin trucks as part of a routine renewal of the fleet.

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