THE first hybrid truck in the Department of Primary Industries' fleet has been rolled out to show agriculture what options it has in the mission to carbon zero.
Wagga Trucks worked with DPI to deliver the Hino diesel electric truck which cuts emissions by about 20 per cent but by also running on Neste renewable fuel emissions are down by 90pc.
The DPI has already been showcasing a hydrogen fuel cell which has been powering hair cuts at various field days and other events, but the truck and the renewable fuel is the next step to give farmers a practical option they can implement on farm.
DPI research officer - energy efficiency solutions, Michael Cashen, said along with livestock methane emissions and fertilisers, fuel was one of the main emissions on farm.
"Farmers now need to move beyond diesel and start to think about what we need to do to maintain productivity but also de-carbonise," he said.
"This truck is a way to demonstrate to the farming community that it can be done. It's about trying to get people to transition."
Mr Cashen said something like a fully electric tractor, while being developed for the horticulture sector, would not be practical for broadacre cropping, which was where the renewable fuel comes in to provide an alternative.
He said the fuel, produced in the Netherlands from Australian tallow, burned cleaner and did not have the aromatics in normal diesel so was clear, and also meant less motor maintenance with reduced build-up.
While other biofuels previously produced were more unstable and voided motor warranties, Mr Cashen said the new fuel was similar to normal diesel in stability and would not cause these issues.
He said the alternative fuel was currently three times the price of regular diesel however once production increased the price would drop.
Wagga Trucks sales executive Rowan Cox said it had taken about three to four months from order and build stage to handover to DPI.
Mr Cox said the cab chassis was built in Japan before the body and tray was fitted in Wagga, with the help of other local businesses.
He said it was exciting to be a part of the project and said while the Hino hybrid would provide opportunities to anyone in the transport industry and tradies, as well as the agriculture industry.
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