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Volvo’s e-truck rental program is a milestone for Africa’s e-mobility quest

todayApril 17, 2024 14

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By Bonface Orucho, bird story agency


Swedish automaker Volvo has introduced an electric truck rental program under the Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS) model in South Africa in a move that could cut huge emissions from the transport sector.

The company also intended the service to democratise access to eco-friendly transport solutions in Africa.

“The intention is to bring down the “barrier to entry” for those with the environmental ambition to move to cleaner transport solutions. That is why we will also be offering these as rental units to our customers,” Eric Parry, Senior Manager of Sustainable Solutions at Volvo Trucks South Africa, explained in a statement on April 16.

The financial model will cut “high initial capital cost of electric vehicles, which makes it harder for customers to bring them into their business,” according to Parry.

Trucks (low, medium and high duty) and buses are the biggest emitters in the road transport sector. Of the 346 million metric tons of emissions, UNEP data estimates heavy-duty vehicles emit “over 40% of on-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, over 60% of on-road particulate matter (PM 2.5), and more than 20% of black carbon emissions.”

The IEA’s target is to cut 16% of emissions from trucks and buses by 2030 for the world to achieve its Net Zero Scenario milestones.

Volvo introduced electric trucks to South African roads in 2023, a few months after it debuted the continent’s first heavy-duty EV in Morocco, where a Volvo FE Electric truck was acquired by refuse collection company. Arma.

The company has remodelled trucks, including the FH, FM and FMX models, to fit the South African market.

According to Paul Uys, Managing Director of Volvo Financial Services Southern Africa, “there is “clear demand for rental trucks in South Africa, as proven by the success of companies with their diesel vehicle offer.”

“We will be the first in South Africa to offer electric trucks as an equipment-as-a-service rental solution,” he stated.

The Volvo trucks will be available countrywide, with the company partnering with service providers to facilitate access to the necessary charging infrastructure. Three dealers in major metros will handle maintenance, with trucks to be serviced once a year.

The demand for cleaner heavy-duty trucks in South Africa is growing.

Scania partnered with the Shoprite Group in 2022 to pilot a heavy-duty electric truck, while mining heavyweight Anglo American is planning to retrofit 40 trucks at the Mogalakwena mine to run on hydrogen,

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