Newcastle Trials Hydrogen-Powered Waste Truck

The City of Newcastle has taken a major step towards a greener future by introducing a hydrogen-powered truck to its waste collection fleet for a 12-month trial.

This rear-loading hydrogen fuel cell electric truck is part of a collaboration with Pure Hydrogen, an Australian clean energy company. The initial lease includes an option for a four-year extension, depending on the trial’s success. The truck is set to begin its first collection rounds in Newcastle later this year.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes emphasised that this trial supports a key goal in the City of Newcastle’s Environment Strategy.

“Zero-emissions vehicles are becoming a hallmark of the world’s best-managed cities, and this trial is a significant move that Newcastle can take pride in,” said Nelmes. “We aim to achieve a 100 percent reduction in carbon emissions from our vehicles within the next decade, and exploring new technologies like this hydrogen truck is crucial to reaching that goal.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen underscored Newcastle’s unique position as a frontrunner in the hydrogen sector.

“Newcastle is the only hydrogen hub recognised by both the NSW and Australian governments,” Clausen noted. “This trial represents a concrete step in our hydrogen journey, contributing to the Hunter region’s hydrogen transition road map.”

The City of Newcastle clarified that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, like the new truck, offer numerous environmental advantages over diesel trucks. They emit no exhaust, produce minimal heat, and release only a small amount of pure water. Moreover, they operate with significantly less noise.

The truck will use Green Hydrogen produced by electrolysis using grid power, with Green Power Purchase agreements in place to offset any carbon emissions.

Data gathered from this 12-month trial will play a pivotal role in shaping future decisions on waste truck acquisitions. In the next four years, the City of Newcastle is planning to phase out a substantial number of its current diesel-powered bin trucks as part of its routine fleet updates, signalling a significant transition towards sustainable waste management.

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