Clean energy funding will enable the conversion of commercial trucks and vans to electric vehicles in Australia.

Victorian manufacturer SEA Electric will use the $5 million grant to boost its conversion of medium-duty truck and commercial vans to electricity.

The Clean Energy Investment Fund finance will be channeled through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

SEA Electric have three electric drive models to suit express freight, general delivery and waste collection vehicles.

The systems can be fitted to commercial trucks and vans, converting them to 100 per cent electric operation.

Ninety-six per cent of Australia’s three million light commercial vehicles used petrol or diesel in 2016, according to the CEFC.

Clean energy funding boosts future of electric vehicles 

Finding affordable, efficient ways to convert commercial vehicles to electric operation is essential, according to the CEFC.

Conversion to lower emissions technologies is critical to cut national carbon emissions, says CEFC transaction lead Melanie Madders.

“Light vehicle emissions already make up as much as 10 per cent of Australia’s total emissions, with overall transport activity expected to continue to grow in the future.”

Electric vehicles are a “very exciting” part of Australia’s renewable energy transition, Ms Madders adds.

“The development of cost-effective ways to transition commercial vehicles to lower emissions technologies is paramount for cutting national carbon emissions.”

Australian electric vehicles could lead world

CEFC funding allows the company to accelerate its innovative technology, SEA Executive Chairman Tony Fairweather said.

“Australia has the potential to become a global leader in the rapidly emerging electric vehicle industry.”

Vans and medium-duty trucks are suitable for electric conversion due to relatively fixed routes and distances.

Vehicles can return overnight for recharging, Mr Fairweather says. In addition, ongoing falls in the cost of lithium batteries means electric drive systems are more cost-competitive with petrol or diesel engines.

SEA Electric integrates and assembles electric vehicle drive systems into a basic chassis and framework.

The Clean Energy Innovation Fund finances a range of green projects including developing technology, solar power and wind energy.

Extracted from Energy Matters.