South African electric vehicles infrastructure company, AEVERSA (Applied Electric Vehicle Energy Reticulation Systems Africa), has announced that it has realised significant cost savings during the trial phase of the N55 EV battery-electric truck made by Chinese automobile manufacturer JAC Motors.
AEVERSA approached JAC Motors in early 2021 to import the N55 EV. The company’s new N55 EV arrived in Durban in late June last year.
The company conducted a trial phase that included installation of infrastructure including a DC Fast Charging station, solar panels and monitoring software at Palletmen. The truck was sent to a bodybuilder to be fitted with a customised flat load bed.
According to AEVERSA, the N55 EV was in daily use in an existing transport fleet operation, travelling thousands of kilometres per week, collecting and delivering pallets across Johannesburg, allowing AEVERSA to gather valuable information regarding operating cost-efficiencies.
“Although we knew that battery-electric trucks are extremely energy efficient, we were astounded about the savings on energy and transportation cost, as we could directly compare the N55 EV’s performance to the other ICE trucks in our transport fleet,” said Rick Franz, CEO of AEVERSA.
AEVERSA says its N55 EV was demonstrated to transport operators between pallet deliveries, showing the benefits of transitioning conventional ICE fleets into battery-electric fleets.
“A diverse group of transport operators showed significant interest in AEVERSA’s pioneering initiatives, including Takealot, ESKOM, Adcock Ingram, DHL, Aramex and Lactalis, to name but a few,” the company says.
A leading bakery group recently took delivery of its first N55 EV and is testing and comparing its performance to the conventional ICE trucks in its fleet. A powerful 96.77 kWh capacity LFP battery powers the bakery’s new N55 EV. When a standard European CCS2-Combo connection is used, the battery recharges to 80 per cent capacity in only one hour and 100 per cent in one-and-a-half hours. It reaches 200 to 240 km per charge when 20% State of Charge (SoC) is treated as empty.
“The N55 EV is an emission-free truck suitable for a range of last-mile delivery operations. It provides a reliable, economical and safe solution to transport operators. Compared to conventional ICE trucks, the N55 EV has a 70 per cent lower maintenance cost and achieves a 40 to 60 per cent lower fuel/energy cost when charged from our ecosystem infrastructure,” says Franz.
Growing market for battery-electric trucks in South Africa
AEVERSA says it aims to accelerate the transition of conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) transport fleets into electric-powered fleets in South Africa. The company is awaiting more ECVs in the near term including a panel van, and a motorbike which will be used in existing fleet operations to collect comparative data. The company says the vehicles will be marketed to delivery companies as the market has shown tremendous growth since the advent of Covid-19.
The company’s product offering includes setting up ecosystems at offices and warehouses with solar power, battery banks and DC Fast Chargers.
“We believe that the cost of fuel and the increased maintenance cost of traditional ICE vehicles will be an additional burden on companies soon. Unstable global trade and the inevitable rise in fossil fuel prices will further increase transport costs, making AEVERSA’s product solutions particularly relevant in modern-day transport,” concludes Franz.