TransNet & Wallbox Power New Zealand’s First EV Freighter

7 minutes

We worked with TransNet to help Alsco NZ find, install and maintain the right EV charging solution for their electric fleet.

TransNet is the leading distributor of specialty electrical products for all facets of the electricity industry and they gave us a challenge – to power forward and support Alsco’s EV road freighter to go even further.

A global uniform service company which began in the USA in 1889, Alsco’s NZ’s bold objective is to convert one third of its fleet of 335 vehicles to EV by 2030. Their mission began with the launch of their first long haul EV road freighter in late 2019.

The challenge

Alsco’s ultimate goal is to have their Heavy EV driver travel a total of 284 kilometres in a single eight hour shift – with recharging times that coordinate with each load and unload, and also facilitate a four hour break in the middle of that day.

However they soon realised that a single on-board charger was not able to adequately charge the EV at the speed required to complete the journey between Rotorua and Taupo and then Rotorua and Tauranga in as single day.

The solution

As a pilot to facilitate charging solutions to support the movement of Alsco’s light and heavy EV fleet across New Zealand, Alsco looked to combine Wallbox’s chargers and software solutions with TransNet’s cutting-edge service and know-how.

In addition, Alsco worked with SEA Electric and TransNet engineers to install a second on-board charger to the HEV freighter, a world first for this solution. The outcome enabled the vehicle to be charged simultaneously with two of Wallbox’s Commander 2 stations at once, reducing the charging time significantly.

TransNet doubled up and installed extra Wallbox charging stations at all three depots on the route, so the HEV is able to recharge during each load/unload stop during the day, and also during mid-day break, which allows the truck to complete the second half of the journey.

The results

The installation of these charging points and the dual charging set-up now allows Alsco’s drivers to complete the Rotorua/Taupo return, and subsequently Rotorua/Tauranga return, within a normal eight hour shift. TransNet has already installed Wallbox chargers at Alsco facilities in Auckland, Rotorua, Tauranga, Taupo, Wellington, Richmond / Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

And there’s more to come! Wallbox plans to keep working with TransNet to design and commission a whopping120 charging stations in more than 20 Alsco locations nationwide in order to facilitate Alsco´s goal of putting 250 electric vehicles on New Zealand’s roads by 2030.

“The partnership Alsco has developed with TransNet has been extremely beneficial to the business. TransNet has helped us source Wallbox charging stations in-line with our electric vehicle fleet needs and provided a very high level of support in our EV journey. The Wallbox charging stations provide us extremely useful data that can be used to better manage our fleet and carry out consumption analysis”. “The feature to schedule charging will also come in handy when we expand our fleet in line with our goal to have a third of our vehicles EV by 2030. This scheduling feature will also assist the New Zealand grid in load management during peak times.¨- Haris Murtaza, Energy Management Advisor at Alsco

“At TransNet, we are always looking for ways to do things better, faster and simpler for our customers and when Haris contacted us to discuss the bold plans Alsco had in place we were excited to be part of finding the charging solution that would make their plans a reality. It’s been a real team effort, working with Sea Electric, Alsco and Wallbox to try things out and come up with the dual charging solution was a game changer. We’re really excited to continue working with Alsco as they expand their electric fleet” – Glenn Inkster, e-Mobility Division Manager, TransNet NZ Limited.”