Early this year, Toyota and BHP announced that an electric Land Cruiser had been built for use in an underground mine in Western Australia, in a bid to reduce emissions and improve safety.
A few months later, Fleet Auto News reported that GB Auto, a local company in Orange NSW, has signed a supply deal to convert 2,000 Toyota Hilux’s and Land Cruisers into electric vehicles over the next four years, for use in mining activities.
GB Auto entered a binding agreement with Dutch company Tembo e-LV B.V and international battery technology, electric vehicle, solar and critical power services company VivoPower PLC to be the exclusive Australia-wide distributor of Tembo core products.
In making this deal, GB Auto has committed to purchasing at least 500 Tembo 4×4 e-LV electric conversion kits in the first year of the 7-year term. They will purchase a total of 2,000 kits in the first four years, including the first-year commitment. It’s estimated that the orders – combined with the value of the converted Toyota vehicles – will generate about US$250 million in revenue over the initial 4-year span.
The agreement will also make VivoPower the GB Auto partner of choice to finance, build and maintain all products and services related to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, battery storage and micro-grids, which aligns with their 3-pronged Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES) strategy.
“We are excited to partner with VivoPower as its Tembo electric vehicles are ideally suited to the needs of our customers in the mining sector,” said Graeme Bensley, CEO and Founder of GB Auto.
“We are already witnessing strong demand for these vehicles, and this agreement bolsters our ability to play a prominent role in the overall drive to improve the sustainability of our economy.”
Charge plug for electric Landcruiser built for BHP
Kevin Chin, Executive Chairman and CEO of VivoPower, noted, “We believe this deal will provide the springboard for our holistic SES offering targeted at mining, commercial fleet, government and industrial customers."
"GB Auto is an excellent partner, given its established reputation and fantastic customer base that includes some of the world’s leading mining houses. We are of the view that this will be a very successful commercial partnership that has the potential to benefit a broad range of industries.”
GB Auto’s collaboration with Tembo and VivoPower will focus on the next-generation 72 kilowatt-hour battery kit for the Land Cruiser and Hilux models, and will also look at how other Tembo products can be used in the mining industry.
Should Tembo offer any new products for sale during the 7-year agreement term, GB Auto will have a first right of refusal to their distribution rights in Australia.
The deal allows VivoPower to maintain and own all operating data in the Tembo products, granting GB Auto a license to use the data to sell and service the vehicles. Subject to COVID restrictions, the first vehicle deliveries are scheduled for mid-2021.
We’re excited to see the electrification of business fleets in our own backyard and look forward to a future where all Australian businesses are powered by electric vehicles.