Sunraysia Dried Fruit Saves $10,000 with Electric Fleet

A Sunraysia-owned dried fruit business is cutting costs and reducing emissions by embracing electric vehicles and sustainable energy solutions. By trialling six electric off-road vehicles from Queensland manufacturer Tuatara UTC and utilizing their own rooftop solar and battery arrays, Duxton Dried Fruits is saving over $10,000 annually in fuel expenses. The transition to electric Ultra Terrain vehicles not only lowers running costs but also eliminates the need for fuel trucks to come from out of town, further reducing their carbon footprint.


The E-Tuatara 1500 UTV, boasting a maximum range of up to 170km, offers regenerative braking and significantly lower operating costs compared to traditional vehicles. Fitted with 12kWh or 21kWh batteries, these electric UTVs are charged at the vineyard’s 60kW rooftop solar array and 128kWh battery system. Duxton Dried Fruits received a grant from the Victorian government to trial these sustainable transportation solutions at their Wemen vineyard.

Why Does it Matter?

Henry Young, the Duxton sustainability project officer, highlights the successful integration of electric UTVs into daily operations. With these vehicles supporting various tasks such as fuel and harvest assistance, yard maintenance, and weed control, staff have embraced the transition from internal combustion engines to electric power seamlessly. Young notes the reduced noise levels and enhanced power of the new UTVs, emphasizing the operational and environmental benefits.

How is it Going to Shape the Future?

Duxton Dried Fruits is not only reaping financial savings and operational efficiencies but also serving as a beacon for sustainable practices in the agricultural sector. Collaborating with industry partners and educational institutions, such as the Mallee Regional Innovation Centre and TAFE Victoria, the company is promoting the adoption of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) technology. By developing educational programs on high-voltage electric vehicles, Duxton is paving the way for a greener future and demonstrating the feasibility of solar energy integration towards achieving net zero emissions.

In conclusion, through the innovative use of electric vehicles, solar power, and battery storage, Duxton Dried Fruits exemplifies how embracing sustainable technologies can lead to significant cost savings, operational improvements, and environmental stewardship in the agricultural industry.