South African shopping giant Shoprite is pushing hard into sustainability. Most recently, it lobbed a fat wad of (other people’s) cash at improving its reliance on renewable energy. The most recent fruit from the company is a new battery-powered truck.
It’s not an electric panel van like Woolworths is experimenting with. Nor is it a fleet of electric Mr. Bean cars, like the hippies over at Faithful to Nature are testing. Shoprite’s new prototype delivery vehicle is a full-sized Scania Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).
Shoprite, meet BEV
Shoprite’s newest fleet addition is powered by a combination of nine batteries and a set of solar panels on the roof of its trailer. Two electric motors provide it with 850kW of power and its 624kWh battery helps provide a range of up to 350km on a charge. It doesn’t charge solely via solar. That would be impractical. It tops up in about 90 minutes via a 375kW charger — which isn’t something you just find lying around. Still, if it’s charged between loads, it should be ready to go at any time.
The brand says that its new delivery vehicle can transport 64 tonnes at a time. That’s sixteen pallets, plus there’s enough juice left over to fully run the truck’s cooling system. It’s got one other cool feature, that you might have seen at your local toy store at some point in the last twenty years.
Shoprite’s put Checkers branding on its new Scania EV. This branding soaks up light during the day and emits it when night falls. A bit like those glow-in-the-dark plastic stars (or dinosaurs) that tend to decorate the homes of the young and young-at-heart. But in slightly more shades, obviously. Checkers has to stay on-brand, even when it’s navigating the roads at night like a ghost ship in an episode of Scooby-Doo.