There have been a growing number of stories and releases about new truck technology, but should we be concerned and will Australia get left behind? While new technology is being driven elsewhere by legislation ours lags well behind the latest technology.
The political turmoil in parliament and within the major parties has meant we have seen very little clear air where the normal run of legislation can just get pushed through and we can keep in step with what is happening elsewhere in the developed world.
One of the more obvious issues around this lack of new legislation is the current exhaust emission ADR. The original change to the current ADR 80/03, moving the goal posts up to the equivalent of Euro 6 at ADR 80/04, was originally being mapped out in 2012. Then an election was called and the whole thing went to pot.
Since then, a couple of vague mentions of ADR 80/04 in official circles is all we have heard. The whole concept seems to be on hold, and even if we got going now, the new ADR might not be fully in place until 2027, fifteen years after the process started.
In that time the rest of the developed world has adopted the Euro 6 equivalent and gone on to develop much more stringent rules, which we could call a Euro 7 equivalent. these rules are more complex and realign the way emissions are regulated, taking the effects of carbon emissions on global warming into consideration and designed to reduce overall fuel consumption.
At the same time, the rest of the world has got on board, Donald Trump excepted, with reducing carbon emissions and built legislative ways to reduce carbon emissions and incentivise the development of alternative technologies and system to be more efficient and slow global warming.
Meanwhile, here in Australia, the debate continues to rage as to whether climate change from human activity even exists. The whole subject of global warming is caught in a quagmire of obfuscation.
Meanwhile, all of our competitors in global markets are seeing new highly efficient technologies being developed to take advantage of government imperatives and subsidies aimed at reducing carbon emissions and increasing the stability of our climate.
To the point that the one electric truck unveiled in Queensland this week to deliver Ikea flatpacks to the suburbs was electrified by an Australian company which is doing most of its business in North America.
Australian ingenuity is being exported to help a global economic giant improve its economy, while we are happy to sit here for the foreseeable future and continue to run thousands of diesel powered trucks around our cities. These city streets are now places where it is difficult to breath due to the smoke drifting in from record breaking forest fires.
Will Australia get left behind? The answer is not clear, but if we are not careful, we could watch our road transport industry get so far behind the rest of the developed world technologically that we will be relegated to the ‘less well developed world’.