The Shoprite Group is the first South African retailer to pilot a heavy-duty electric truck as part of its fleet, and 28-year-old Robin Jooste from Colorado Park, Mitchells Plain has been selected to drive it.
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 battery packs of the vehicle.
With a range in the region of 350km, the vehicle will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by the Group’s existing solar installations.
In another first, the truck’s special “glow in the dark” signage will make it more visible when travelling at night. When exposed to bright (day) light, the signage can absorb and store particles. This stored energy is again emitted when its dark, resulting in a glow.
“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,” says Andrew Havinga, Chief Supply Chain Officer for the Group.
The addition of the new electric truck forms part of the Group’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 900 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.