Fonterra launches electric milk tanker
Fonterra has officially launched New Zealand’s first electric milk tanker, Milk-E, as part of the cooperative’s efforts to decarbonize its fleet. The tanker was named by Murchison farmer Stephen Todd.
Fonterra CEO Fraser Wineray said the co-op is constantly looking for ways to reduce emissions, whether on farms, sites or transportation networks.
“The team at our Morrinsville workshop have done a fantastic job of putting this tank truck together. Being a New Zealand first, there has been a lot of creative thinking and Kiwi ingenuity in bringing Milk-E to life,” Wineray said.
Changes to the battery configuration gave the team the opportunity to test other additions to improve milk collection efficiency, reduce safety issues, and reduce the amount of work needed to customize a Fonterra cistern.
A battery swap system is being installed at the Waitoa site where Milk-E will be based to test how it could work within a fleet to minimize downtime due to battery charging .
Other work carried out on Milk-E includes the use of a driver’s side electric pump, reducing the truck’s piping by 3.4 meters, minimizing tare.
The need for a hydraulic tank and pump was removed and a fully electric motor and pump were installed.
“It was great to see the team turn challenges into opportunities, so in addition to testing Milk-E’s on-road capability, we’re also testing a new electric pump, hose configuration and cabinets,” Whineray said. .
Fonterra received co-funding from the government’s Low Emission Transport Fund (LEFT), which is administered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
Nicki Sutherland, Head of Investment and Engagement, EECA Group, said: “We are delighted to see this project come to life. New Zealand has ambitious targets to rapidly reduce carbon emissions, and transport is essential, but heavy freight has proven difficult to decarbonise. If successful, this project could be replicated in a number of New Zealand companies.
The electric milk tanker will operate from Fonterra’s Waitoa site, which Whineray says is very appropriate given that it was the site of New Zealand’s largest fleet of electric milk trucks. 100 years ago.