Aussie-made electric trucks enter production

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Words: Matthew Hansen
25 Mar 2021

With Holden, Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi and the rest all gone, it’s easy to forget that Australia still has its own production facilities. Some convert left-hook utes into right hookers, some facilities are set to soon be utilised by Asian up and comers like Vinfast, and some — as it so happens — produce electric trucks.

Sea Electric has announced Australia’s first mass-produced Melbourne-assembled electric trucks; the Sea 300 and Sea 500 — both based on the Hino 300 and 500 — with each to be sold via 15 dealerships dotted around the country.

“Sea Electric is privileged to be able to bring this Australian first to the marketplace,” said Glen Walker, Sea Electric regional director for Oceania. “It represents an exciting phase in global EV development, and this places Sea Electric at the forefront.

“In Australia, carbon dioxide emissions from transport are now the second highest behind electricity generation, and are forecast to continue rising. With this announcement, the freight industry can now react – safe in the knowledge that their freight product offering will be enhanced in their clients’ eyes.”

Specs on the trucks vary, with battery capacity available up to 280kWh on the larger 500 model. Range is rated between 200km and 300km per charge, with the company confirming that these estimates are unladen.

So far, 46 Sea electric trucks have been ordered across the two models. The firm boasts that each model can be customised for various purposes; from garbage truck duty, to cherry picker.

One of the silent advantages (pun not intended) of moving from diesel-fuelled commercial vehicles to electric, Sea Electric notes, is the improved level of refinement. Not only are the electric alternatives quieter — they’re also better for vibrations. Walker added in the firm’s release that this could decrease truck driver fatigue and improve workplace conditions.

“Mass uptake of electric trucks in urban Australia has the potential to save up to millions of tonnes of CO2 each year, and provide up to 40,000 MWh of mobile battery storage, which is a potential future revenue stream,” Walker added.

“Sea-Drive technology performs exceptionally well in congested urban environments, where pollution reduction is needed most, and as demonstrated by real world experience from our global vehicle deployments it provides competitive whole of life operating costs when compared to traditional diesel vehicles.”

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