Electric truck laid bare for open day

Last updated 13:51 10/12/2012
Kapiti rubbish truck
Electric truck: Hugh Marshall-Tate from Zero Emission Vehicles, Ludmilla Ng from Sinopoly Battery International supplying batteries for the truck, Jake Roos, from Kapiti Coast District Council, Andrew Rushworth from Zero Emission, and Tony Pearson from the Clean Technology Centre.

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Kapiti people will get to see the insides of a groundbreaking electric rubbish truck at an open day at Otaki's Clean Technology Centre.

The $200,000 truck commissioned by Kapiti Coast District Council will be stripped down and on display at the centre, on Miro St, from 1pm till 5pm on Wednesday.

Centre manager Jeff Smith said all the components of the truck would be visible on a driveable testing rig.

"It's a unique opportunity for people to see the components of the electric drive system because they will be hidden in the final vehicle."

The truck is being built by Zero Emission Vehicles, which is expecting it to be the first of many commercial electric vehicles assembled and tested at the Clean Technology Park.

In June the council announced it was buying the truck, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere - planned to be on the road by November.

In a written release last week the council said the truck is now expected to be on the road by early next year to replace an old vehicle nearing the end of its life.

Meanwhile Zero Emission managing director Andrew Rushworth said the company was aiming to supply the "model T" equivalent of electric rubbish trucks to the world.

"We believe our company can provide heavy electric drive vehicles that are technically robust, commercially viable and will appeal to companies worldwide who are looking to update their fleets with sustainable solutions."

The electric truck is expected to have a range of more than 100km, and will be recharged overnight at a council depot in Paraparaumu.

Councillor Tony Lester, a member of the Clean Technology Trust set up to develop the park, said other councils were watching the project with interest.

"It's pretty exciting to be the first council in the country to put an electric rubbish truck on the road, especially one that has been developed locally. We have high hopes for ZEV [Zero Emission Vehicles] and the Clean Technology Park to partner in developing technologies that will create jobs and contribute to Kapiti's economic growth."

In June councillors voted to approve a $1.5 million loan to be made to a charitable trust set up to grow the Cleantech Park, owned by Pritchards' Riverbank Estate Ltd.

The decision was part of the council's bid to boost economic development in the district.

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