Mitchells Plain female truck driver to take the wheel of Shoprite’s first glow-in-the-dark battery electric vehicle

With a driving range of about 350km when carrying a load of 40 tonnes, the truck will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by Shoprite’s existing solar installations.
Shoprite 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, meaning it does not use fossil fuels or produce any carbon emissions. The refrigerated truck can hold about 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 driving range of about 350km when carrying a load of 40 tonnes, the truck will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by Shoprite’s existing solar installations.
One of the coolest features of the truck is its signature glow-in-the-dark signage intended to make it more visible at night. When exposed to bright (day) light, the signage absorbs and stores particles. This stored energy is again emitted when it’s dark, resulting in a glow.
While Shoprite did not want to reveal the cost of the BEV truck, Scania’s website says the total cost of ownership of BEVs is expected to be the same as for all types of heavy combustion engine diesel vehicles by 2031.
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“Full-scale electrification will require four to five times more infrastructure investment relative to the present situation. In return, operating expenses are 40% lower than for heavy diesel vehicles,” Scania says. The Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer further states that electrification is happening so fast globally, it expects 10% of its sales to be electric by 2025 and to account for as much as 50% of sales by the end of this decade.
Scania has committed to cutting carbon emissions from its own operations by 50% by 2025, as well as reducing emissions from customers’ vehicles by 20% during the same period.
“As Africa’s largest grocery retailer, Shoprite 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 ...