South African retail group, Shoprite, has launched a heavy-duty electric truck as part of its delivery fleet. The vehicle, a Scania Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), is 100% electric, therefore has no reliance on fossil fuels and emits no carbon dioxide.

The refrigerated truck can hold approximately 16 pallets, has nine batteries, solar panels fitted to its roof, and a fully electric cooling system which is also powered by the vehicle’s battery packs.

With a range in the region of 350 kilometers, the vehicle will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by the group’s existing solar installations.

“As Africa’s largest grocery retailer, the Shoprite Group places significant focus on reducing its environmental impact across its operations. One of the ways we’re doing this is by increasing the energy efficiency of our truck fleet. The acquisition of this, one of the world’s most advanced electric trucks, which we will charge using our existing renewable energy infrastructure, is another major move in this direction,” stated Andrew Havinga, chief supply chain officer of the Shoprite Group.

According to a press statement, the addition of the new electric truck forms part of Shoprite’s ongoing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain. It recently acquired over 100 of the most fuel-efficient Euro 5 compliant trucks in Southern Africa, and more than 1,041 of its trailers are fitted with solar panels, which enable the refrigeration and tailgate lift to continue to run on solar power even when the truck is switched off.

Despite its load-shedding challenges and hefty price tags for electric vehicles in the country, research by News24 Motoring shows that South Africans love themselves an electric car. In 2022, when the Swedish automaker, Volvo, opened its online order books for the XC40 P6 Recharge, the 25 allocated vehicles for South Africa were sold out in only 24 hours.

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