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New electric trucks destined for S Africa

An emerald and metallic green electric truck manufactured by Volvo has been delivered to Morocco as a continent first

EFFICIENT TRUCKING The first electric truck tractor was delivered to the continent by Volvo in March

5th May 2023

By: Halima Frost

Senior Writer

     

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On the back of delivering the first ever heavy electric truck to the African continent last month, global manufacturer Volvo says it will deliver its first FM electric truck tractor to a client in South Africa, in June.

The Volvo FM electric range is suited to regional haul operations, such as high-capacity grocery deliveries and container transportation in metropolitan areas, all with a reduced environmental impact.

Three FM tractor models have been received by Volvo South Africa, with more expected to arrive in the country later this year. Rigid models will also become available.

Volvo Trucks South Africa MD and VP Waldemar Christensen says several local companies have high ambitions to significantly reduce their environmental impact, which is driving the demand for cleaner transport.

“This is a notable pull factor for us as it also cements the shift towards more environmentally sustainable solutions, which is part of Volvo Group’s global plan, in which we play a part.”

Although there is demand in the wider African region, it is isolated to certain pockets, he adds.

The complete Volvo Trucks heavy-duty electric range will be available in South Africa in the coming months and will include Volvo’s FH, FM and FMX model ranges, which are categorised locally as part of the extra-heavy commercial vehicle segment.

The range includes truck tractors and rigid configurations, as well as axle combinations from 4 × 2 to 8 × 4, to cover a wide range of applications.

Morocco Project

Meanwhile, Volvo Trucks Morocco sustainability and standard operating procedure manager Mehdi El Mansouri relays that Volvo has also been active elsewhere in Africa. “We received the battery-electric truck, which is the first to start commercial operation in Africa, in the first week of March.”

The client – refuse collection company Arma, in Rabat, Morocco – has reported that it is “very happy with their first FE electric truck and satisfied with its performance so far”.

“We have also received very positive feedback from the drivers, mostly concerning the lack of noise and vibration and zero tailpipe emissions,” he adds.

“It was a proud moment when we took the first step towards more sustainable, electric transport in Morocco, and Africa, together with Arma and the City of Rabat,” says Volvo Trucks Morocco MD Martin Nilsson, adding that this “clearly shows that zero-emissions trucks have a role to play in many parts of the world”.

Mansouri enthuses that the deployment of heavy electric trucks is now spreading globally, with Europe and the US among the leaders in their uptake.

Additionally, the shift to more sustainable transport is also gaining momentum elsewhere.

“We have one of the broadest electric truck line-ups in the industry, which makes it possible to electrify a large part of heavy transport today,” Nilsson points out.

By replacing an existing Volvo FE diesel truck with a Volvo FE electric truck on a typical refuse collection route, about 30 t of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved every year.

Nilsson says Morocco has ambitious climate goals, based on large investments in renewable energy.

This has positioned the country as a leader in solar power. It is also home to the world’s largest concentrated solar power facility, Noor Quarzazate, located 200 km southeast of Marrakech.

“We are proud to be the first company in the waste management sector in Morocco and in Africa to have chosen to invest in sustainable mobility, in cooperation with Volvo Trucks,” says Arma Group CEO Youssef Ahizoune.

He adds that the truck is a Volvo FE Electric, one of six all-electric Volvo truck models already in serial production.

“By taking a step towards the electrification of our truck fleet, Arma is reducing its carbon footprint, showing once again our commitment to the environment,” he adds.

Volvo’s intentions are clear in that it will continue investing in innovations that help reduce emissions and benefit the environment while supporting its customers in meeting sustainability goals.

The company’s global target is that in 2030, 50% of all new-truck sales will be electric.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features

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