One of South Africa’s first electric trucks — the JAC N55 EV — has been making deliveries in Gauteng for two months, thanks to a partnership with solar and electric company Aeversa.
The small flatbed truck landed in South Africa in June, marking the beginning of Jac Motors South Africa’s electric vehicle programme.
Aeversa is trialling its usability on local roads through a series of real-world tests conducted over the last few weeks, including using it to deliver goods in and around Johannesburg.
The truck draws power from a liquid-cooled 96.77kWh battery that offers around 200km of range per charge and can accelerate from 0-50km/h in eight seconds, with a top speed of 90km/h.
The N55 has enough power to scale inclines of up to 16.7 degrees while carrying a load of 2.5-tonnes.
Its cabin has space for three occupants and their gear and features height and telescopic adjustable multifunction steering wheel, air conditioning, anti-lock braking and electric windows.
The infotainment system boasts an 8-inch touch screen with Bluetooth connectivity and support for online music playback.
Aeversa’s Rick Franz said the company will use data gathered from the tests to plan, prototype, and roll out precision infrastructure for converting commercial fleets to be electrically powered.
The truck is charged via Aeversa DC fast chargers, which the company can install at logistics companies’ warehouses and distribution centres.
Aeversa specialises in renewable electric logistics solutions and aims to transition the industry away from traditional fuels.
It also offers solar installations which can be integrated with the chargers.
The N55 can charge at up to 50kW, which means its battery can go from 0-100% in about 2 hours while it’s in the bay. From 20% charged, it should take less than 90 minutes.
Aeversa offers these chargers in various configurations, from small single port 20kW units to large dual-port 150kW stations.
The company also converts warehouse roof space into solar PV generation space to maximise local energy production and offset electrical grid demand.
Aeversa’s products operate at a very high voltage of over 900V to ensure they are future-proofed for improved battery technology.
“We believe JAC has made an excellent choice on starting down the path towards zero-emission vehicles, and our holistic solution helps to make this possible in South Africa,” Franz stated.
“When combining the energy savings of electric vehicles with the cost savings of local solar energy production, it starts to make an excellent business case for the operational running cost of an electric fleet.”
“This trend will continue to grow as fuel prices increase and solar production costs fall,” Franz said.