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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that it will be providing $21.8 million to three projects across Western Australia, which will unlock a total investment of $48.4 million to support the shift to electric vehicles in the state as part of ARENA’s Driving the Nation program.

ARENA is supporting industrial freight provider Centurion with $15.8 million to roll out 30 battery electric trucks and 15 dual port chargers to cut emissions from its depot in Hazelmere.

Centurion’s chargers will be powered by a fully integrated off-grid energy system including rooftop solar and on-site battery storage. 

Patrick Terminals has been awarded $2.5 million to reduce emissions at Western Australia’s largest container port.

ARENA funding will help Patrick deploy nine battery electric terminal trucks and related fast chargers in an Australian first at the Port of Fremantle.

The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) will coordinate the delivery of 129 light battery electric vehicles and required charging infrastructure with the help of $3.5 million from ARENA.

The EVs will be purchased and operated in the fleets of 22 local governments representing 58 per cent of Western Australians.

ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said that the three projects demonstrate the breadth of ARENA’s commitment to decarbonising transport.

“These three projects demonstrate a variety of vehicles and use cases for EVs including industries that have previously proved challenging to reduce vehicle emissions,” Mr Miller said. 

“This is exactly what ARENA’s Driving the Nation program is for; testing and demonstrating new use cases for electrical vehicles to prove the business case for low emissions transport.

“Each of these three projects is breaking new ground in the transition to electric vehicles and we’re excited to see businesses and councils in Western Australia leading the way.”

The Federal Government’s Driving the Nation fund includes $500 million to invest in cheaper and cleaner transport. ARENA currently has an active focus area related to innovation in charging with $70 million of funding available to support innovation in both public charging and management of charging.

Centurion CEO, Justin Cardaci, said that this project represents a significant step in Centurion’s decarbonisation journey and continuing its work towards an operational future with net zero emissions. 

“Centurion actively seeks to deploy technology where it is ready to displace the diesel transport equivalent and the ARENA funding certainly helps support the economics of this project,” Mr Cardaci said. 

Patrick Terminals CEO, Michael Jovicic, said that its project is a positive step towards electrification and emissions reductions in the Patrick Terminals Fremantle operations. 

“The project, supported by allocation of $2.5 million from ARENA funding, allows Patrick Terminals to lead the port industry’s transition to electric vehicles, deploying nine cutting-edge battery electric terminal trucks and fast chargers at our Fremantle operations,” Mr Jovicic said. 

“The introduction of electric terminal equipment at our Fremantle operations is an exciting initiative that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing capital in our Fremantle terminal to support longevity of port operations whilst also aligning with our commitment to decarbonising our operations.”

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