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Zero-emission battery electric truck gets to work for Citycare Property

Christchurch Sustainability

25 July 2022

On Monday, 25 July, Citycare Property joined four other council contractors in partnering with Christchurch City Council to operate a battery electric specialist truck within their businesses — part of a broader project by council to help it achieve its goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Citycare Property is committed to actively supporting Christchurch City Council in reducing Christchurch district’s greenhouse gas emissions through collaboration and joint problem solving.

(From left) Citycare Property’s Gayle Sisson – Gardener; Lee Gardiner, General Manager – Customer Engagement; Craig Taylor, Sector Lead – OSM; and Robert Bright, Regional Manager – Southern, with the new electric truck that will be trialled as part of Christchurch City Council’s programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This bespoke FUSO eCanter battery electric vehicle has been fitted with a toolbox and tip body for use as a gardening truck and will be seen doing the rounds in and around the central city. The new truck joins a stable of electric fleet already in operation by Citycare Property in Christchurch, including an electric ride-on mower as part of our operations at Christchurch International Airport. Citycare Property was one of the first open spaces maintenance service providers in New Zealand to purchase and deploy a commercial-grade electric ride-on mower.

Citycare Property introduced an electric ride-on mower to its mowing fleet for use at Christchurch International Airport.

Another addition to the electric fleet in Christchurch is a stand-on electric mower, which has been a regular sight in iconic Victoria Square and a number of other high-profile public spaces and parks. As well as its sustainability credentials, the mower is zero exhaust emissions, produces almost no vibrations and is practically silent from a distance of 10 metres.

Another component in the electric mowing arsenal, is the Spider ILD02 ‘mowbot’. Fully remote controlled, the mowbot can navigate slopes of up to 55 degrees — removing the risk of operators traversing steep slopes. Citycare Property is also investigating further opportunities to increase the number of battery electric mowers used within our nationwide operations.

The Spider ILD02 has been designed to work on slopes of up to 55 degrees — removing the risk of operators traversing steep slopes.

In Auckland, Citycare Property is trialling an electric line-marking machine, ‘Bob the Spraybot’. One of only 10 such machines in New Zealand, Bob measures and maps fields with each field able to be marked out in as little as 30 minutes. The information is then stored ready for the next time the field needs to be marked out.

‘Bob the Spraybot’ is being used to map and mark out sports fields within Citycare Property’s Auckland contract.

This current Christchurch City Council battery electric truck project is being used for, “... gathering practical learnings... so that truck operators can see how to best use battery electric truck technology for their operations,” says Christchurch City Council Resource Efficiency Manager, Kevin Crutchley.

On the importance of the project Citycare Property’s General Manager – Customer Engagement, responsible for Sustainability, Change and Innovation, Lee Gardiner said: “The world, not only Aotearoa New Zealand, is facing societal and environmental challenges that require innovative and confident solutions from both the public and private sectors in order to see meaningful and positive change. An overriding principle of Citycare Property’s Towards 2030 Strategy — and the way we work — is that we care for people, the environment and the world we pass on to future generations. Our participation in this project reinforces this operational philosophy.”