Test time: Permo-Drive’s Trevor Dunn (left) and Toll/Ipec area manager Geoff Pembroke with one the trucks fitted with the new drive system technology.
Test time: Permo-Drive’s Trevor Dunn (left) and Toll/Ipec area manager Geoff Pembroke with one the trucks fitted with the new drive system technology.

New drive technology on the road

FOR the last two weeks Permo-Drive’s revolutionary Regenerative Drive System technology has been tested on Toll/Ipec’s most demanding delivery route on the Northern Rivers.

And while the results are still to be collated and analysed, initial reports from drivers are positive.

“I haven’t seen any data as yet but from all reports from the drivers it’s certainly economical,” Toll’s area manager Geoff Pembroke said.

“What’s important for companies like ours is the savings in maintenance costs.”

One of the other advantages in an increasingly energy-conscious world is that the technology saves up to 40pc of fuel.

It’s been a long-wait for the 1900-odd Permo-Drive shareholders who have patiently suffered the many ups and downs of the now Lismore-based company, including its near liquidation in 2008.

That was when Trevor Dunn, his wife Vicki , and local businessman Tony Hart stepped in.

Since taking the reigns of the company new board members have been appointed, including chairman Thomas O’Brian who was formerly chairman of Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants.

It is still too early to predict when the company would break even, Mr Dunn said.

The technology has taken about 10 years to develop and cost about $30 million.

However, Mr Dunn said if the results of the trial prove as successful as early indications, the technology could hit the market soon.

The company’s RDS technology captures energy normally wasted as heat during braking and re-uses the same energy to accelerate the vehicle, thereby reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

“It saves about 80 per cent of the braking energy and so extends the life of the break pads,” Mr Dunn said.

“For companies like Toll it’s great because relining brakes every year costs around $6000 each time.”



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