THE NEW South Wales government will conduct a two-year trial to give extra mass zero-emission heavy vehicles access to the state road network as part of its Towards Net Zero Emissions Freight Policy.

The policy, released on Thursday, focuses on reducing the carbon footprint created by heavy road vehicles and rail freight.

A statement from the government said freight accounts for 25% of total transport greenhouse gases in NSW.

The new policy will see the NSW Government work together with industry to support the transition to low and zero emission technologies, and to ensure our transport network is ready to adapt as technology and solutions evolve.

The trial of extra mass zero-emission heavy vehicles trial is the first step in the policy. The government said the trial will enable industry to invest in the technology without sacrificing the payloads that underpin the freight business.

Zero-emission heavy vehicles weigh more due to their batteries.

NSW Premier Chris Minns said this is an important step towards achieving net zero, while working constructively with industries.

“Reducing freight emissions requires a genuine partnership between government and industry,” he said.

“We’re always going to need a freight sector to get the essentials from A to B, so we need to make sure our freight industry is sustainable over the long term.”

State minister for transport Jo Haylen said many freight operators are natural innovators and are already investing in low emission technologies.

“This policy means that the government is able to support industry to continue to invest in new and emerging technologies and reflects our joint commitment to reduce freight emissions,” she said.

“This isn’t just about cutting emissions and protecting our environment, it’s also about strengthening our economy through driving innovation, creating jobs and increasing competitiveness.”

NSW minister for regional transport and roads Jenny Aitchison said the government recognises the unique challenges for regional, rural and remote freight operators in achieving net zero.

“By working directly with industry we will be able to support them in accessing this innovative technology and ensure regional operators can access the benefits of the transition,” she said.