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NZ’S first EWP electric truck added to WEL Networks' fleet

New Zealand’s first EWP electric truck has hit the road as part of local lines company, WEL Networks’ fleet.

Converted from a diesel truck to a 132kWh battery truck, the vehicle will be used for line maintenance and is powerful enough to operate an elevated work platform and travel 200km on a single charge.

Chief Executive Garth Dibley says sustainable energy and sustainable transport are front of mind for the business.

"We believe electric vehicles will play a really important part in New Zealand’s energy future and by investing in electric trucks, we're not only generating fewer emissions, but also helping to future-proof our business and community.

"Throughout our operations, WEL strives to be an environmentally responsible organisation. This year we are launching structured sustainability initiatives to measure and respond to our environmental responsibilities and having more energy-efficient vehicles is a step in the right direction."

The truck was made possible thanks to co-funding received from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund.

EECA’s Manager Programme Partnerships, Richard Briggs, says "the aim of the Fund is to drive innovation, and grow confidence in an electrified vehicle fleet. Projects like this will show other heavy vehicle operators what’s possible and encourage them to invest in decarbonising their fleets."

The truck underwent its transformation at SEA Electric in Melbourne, where the diesel engine was removed from the 10-tonne Isuzu FTR750 and a fully electric SEA-Drive system installed. SEA Electric worked in conjunction with CAL Isuzu (Hamilton) to supply the converted cab and chassis.

Waimea Truck and Crane in Nelson fitted the Elevated Work Platform (EWP). It takes between four to eight hours to fully charge the truck.

The truck complements WEL’s current electric fleet cars and network of more than 20 electric vehicle chargers in the Waikato.

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