City of Newcastle backs zero emissions future with hydrogen truck trial

City of Newcastle

Bin morning will become quieter and cleaner for Newcastle residents after Councillors voted to add a hydrogen-powered truck to the City of Newcastle waste collection fleet.

City of Newcastle will undertake a 12-month trial of the rear-loading hydrogen fuel cell electric truck with Australian clean energy business Pure Hydrogen as part of its commitment to achieving net zero emissions from its vehicles and equipment.

Summerhill Waste Management CentreSummerhill Waste Management Centre

The lease will include the option for a four-year extension based on the outcome of the trial, with the zero-emissions waste collections truck expected to make its maiden round in Newcastle later this year.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the trial aligns with a key priority under City of Newcastle’s Environment Strategy.

“We’re seeing zero-emissions vehicles emerge as a marker of the best-run cities in the world and this trial is a step forward that Newcastle can and should be proud of,” Cr Nelmes said.

“This truck will help many of us get a better sleep on collection days. We can also rest easy knowing it’s helping make our city a cleaner, quieter, more sustainable place to live.

“We’re committed to delivering a 100% reduction in carbon emissions from City of Newcastle vehicles during the next decade and we’ll continue driving toward this goal by trialling new technologies that contribute to this transition.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the trial was consistent with Newcastle’s emerging future as a global hydrogen leader.

“Newcastle is the only hydrogen hub designated by both the NSW and Australian governments,” Cr Clausen said.

“I’m proud that Newcastle is taking real action with this hydrogen vehicle trial and I’m proud that our work is shaping the Hunter’s hydrogen transition road map.”

Unlike diesel trucks, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles emit no exhaust, minimal heat and a trickle of pure water. They are also significantly quieter. Newcastle joins cities such as Tokyo and Amsterdam in adding a hydrogen vehicle to its waste collection fleet.

The Newcastle truck will run on Green Hydrogen. While the hydrogen energy to run the truck will be produced by electrolysis using grid power, Green Power Purchase agreements will offset any carbon emissions.

The new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle aligns with the City’s net zero emissions and fleet transition plans under the Newcastle Environment Strategy, as well as liveability, sustainability and circular economy targets in the Newcastle 2040 Community Strategic Plan.

Business Hunter Chief Executive Officer Bob Hawes welcomed City of Newcastle’s support of green hydrogen technology.

“This isn’t just ticking a sustainability box, this is the way the smartest cities are heading and Newcastle and the Hunter needs leadership prepared to be early adopters for communities and industry to be competitive and relevant,” Mr Hawes said.

“City of Newcastle is backing an Australian business and backing a crucial, zero-emissions technology pathway to net zero is going to be very challenging.

“Every initiative adopted in using new technology in the public and private sector is going to count.”

Data from the 12-month trial will help inform City of Newcastle’s future purchases of waste trucks. Over the coming four years City of Newcastle is expected to replace a significant number of its existing diesel powered green and red lid bin trucks as part of the routine renewal of the fleet.

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