On 26 October 2023, over 80 leaders from the freight sector came together to discuss decarbonisation challenges, to understand the role of government in the transition journey and recognise the significant decarbonisation efforts needed to reach net‑zero by 2045.
The Department of Transport and Planning gave a preview of Victorian freight emissions modelling and electric vehicle freight route planning initiatives, including the release of a new Electric Heavy Vehicle Access Map.
‘Between industry investing in zero‑emission technology and a government prepared to put the right policy settings in place, we’re ready to set off down the path toward decarbonisation.’
What we heard
There are specific challenges related to low and zero emissions fleet uptake, including supporting infrastructure for all transport modes. Table groups reflected on the impact and urgency of the challenges presented and provided perspectives on how the Victorian Government can work with industry directly through state-based initiatives or through collaboration and harmonisation with other jurisdictions.
The panel emphasised the critical importance of collaboration in the transition towards decarbonisation. Ways to start shifting the dial included modernising the fleet, use of biofuels, ensuring there is a network for low and zero emissions heavy vehicles, making it financially feasible to invest in them, optimising the use of rail, enabling widespread fast charging, and enabling informed industry technology choices.
They also highlighted the need for tailored solutions to address the specific requirements of different freight tasks.
The Freight Industry Decarbonisation Summit served as a foundational step towards a collaborative approach to addressing freight decarbonisation. It highlighted that the journey is only starting, with the involvement of multiple stakeholders and a recognition of the need for concerted efforts and innovative solutions.
Throughout the afternoon, various activities and discussions highlighted areas where the Victorian Government has a vital role in addressing these challenges.
The consistent key challenges highlighted were:
- Operational complexity
- Technological availability and maturity
- Total cost of ownership
- Parity with traditional internal combustion engines.
We asked attendees as series of questions and this is what we heard.
You have $2 million to progress your decarbonisation journey. How would you spend that money?
- 9 per cent of respondents would test one low emission asset.
- 23 per cent of respondents find a partner for shared charging infrastructure.
- 7 per cent of respondents would explore options for business planning.
- 9 per cent of respondents would engage an emerging technology developer
- 25 per cent of respondents would look to better understand hydrogen, EVs and biofuel initiatives.
- 25 per cent of respondents would upgrade their fleets to cut emissions by 5%.
- 2 per cent of respondents would bank the money and await technological maturity.
Beyond decarbonisation of your own fleet, how can your business positively contribute to sector decarbonisation in other ways?
- 9.5 per cent of respondents would supply a vehicle for Original Equipment Manufacturers technology trials.
- 29 per cent of respondents would partner with operators to create green freight routes.
- 15.5 per cent of respondents would engage in knowledge sharing on Total Cost of Ownership models or Business Cases.
- 21 per cent of respondents would participate in think-tank sessions to suggest solutions.
- 11.5 per cent of respondents would engage in forming associations to promote decarbonisation.
- 13.5 per cent of respondents would share low-emissions operational insights and data with industry.
Take aways from today - what do you see as our biggest opportunities?
Respondents highlighted a number of opportunities with the key themes centring around industry enthusiasm and opportunities to work together, making things more certain, harmonisation and national consistency, as well as low emission zones, carbon charges and greater use of other modes like rail.
What comes next
We’re continuing to review responses from the summit and work with industry.
Your involvement has helped identify key themes and shape draft directions.
We’ll provide you with more detail, the structure of approach we’re taking and test the types of actions we’ve identified with you.
26 October 2023
10 November 2023
Test key themes with industry
Recommendations to Government