A new Australian electric truck may be on the road by 2020, with Ford confirming it will build and test one for the first time in 2017.
The announcement comes after Ford unveiled its electric truck last year, with the Australian Motorists Association (AMA) calling the company’s efforts “a step forward in delivering the best possible experience for our customers”.
The company says its electric drivetrain is designed to handle the trucking industry’s heavy load and to provide the truck driver with the best of both worlds.
Its electric drive system can also deliver power in the event of an emergency.
In a statement to ABC Radio Perth, Ford said it was in discussions with the AMA about “a future version of the Ford Electric Truck” and said it would continue to build and offer “electric trucks for Australia’s market”.
“We are looking forward to building the next generation of electric trucks for our industry,” the statement said.
“The Ford Electric Trucks are the next great step in electric trucking and we are excited to be working with the Association of Australian Motorist Clubs and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to bring them to market in 2017.”
Ford said the company would continue work with the AMA to bring the truck to market and said the first production vehicle was slated to hit Australian roads in 2017, but it was too early to say how many trucks would be available.
Ford, which has a $3.9 billion contract to supply vehicles to Australian government and local government agencies, says it plans to produce up to 100,000 electric trucks a year.
Australian trucks currently make up less than 10 per cent of the global truck fleet, according to Ford.
Despite its low market share, Ford says its trucks are expected to be more environmentally friendly than their petrol-powered counterparts, with emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide down compared to petrol trucks.
Australia’s National Electric Vehicle Association (NEVA) says it expects to see the electric truck market grow to 1 million electric vehicles by 2025.
Meanwhile, a report released last month by the Australian National University found the average household in Australia uses an average of about 6.5 electric vehicles a year, and the average Australian consumes an average 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.