The Shoprite Group has become the first South African retailer to pilot a heavy-duty electric truck as part of its fleet.

The vehicle, a Scania Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), is 100% electric, with no reliance on fossil fuels and no carbon emissions, the vehicle will be used for local deliveries and will be recharged using renewable energy generated by the Group’s existing solar installations.

This comes as part of the South African Group’s ongoing efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain.

“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," said Andrew Havinga, the retailer's Chief Supply Chain Officer.

In addition to the new electric trucks, the company also recently acquired over 100 of the most fuel-efficient Euro 5 compliant trucks in Southern Africa.

More than 1041 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.