Popular food and clothing retailer Woolworths has announced via social media that it’s trial-running a handful of electric vans that Everlectric has supplied (and operated in partnership with DSV, its logistics partner). The company aims to reduce its impact on the environment across its value chain.
Everlectric is a bespoke supplier of electric vans. The vehicles that Woolworths is using, according to a report by CleanTechnica, is the SAIC Maxus eDeliver3. It’s an all-electric vehicle with a carrying capacity of 905kg. The van boasts a 52.5kWh battery pack for 240km of driving range on a WLTP cycle.
Woolworths uses photovoltaic solar panels to capture energy from the sun, which it then pipes into the test vehicles’ battery packs at its depot. Using the sun’s power and considering the overall reduction in emissions compared to using a diesel-powered delivery vehicle of this capacity, Woolies has been able to save 3.6 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the past two months of testing the electric vans.
DHL Express is piloting the first hydrogen truck throughout Deutsche Post DHL Group
DHL Express, the world’s leading international express service provider, is the first within Deutsche Post DHL Group to test hydrogen-fueled trucks for the long haul. Together with its customer Apple, DHL pilots the vehicle in the Benelux region, as part of the Interreg NW Europe program H2-Share, coordinated by WaterstofNet. The program’s goal is to facilitate the development of low-carbon heavy-duty vehicles on hydrogen for logistic applications and gain practical experience in different regions. It creates a transnational living lab and basis for the development of the zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle industry.
“In a globalized world, sustainable and clean fuels are essential for climate-neutral logistics. Not only for sea and air freight but also line-haul road freight, as these help reduce CO2 emissions,” says Alberto Nobis, CEO DHL Express Europe. “That’s why we engage not only in the electrification of our fleet but also invest in the development of alternative drive systems for very long ranges. The project shows that we can achieve truly emission-free logistics in Europe if we join forces and build on experience.”
While battery-electric trucks can operate efficiently within last-mile delivery, fuels from renewable energies such as hydrogen are essential for zero-emission line-haul. Due to their vast potential, DHL Express is now testing a heavy-duty vehicle, with a fuel cell range extender from VDL. The truck, operated by Dutch Nassau Sneltransport, covers a daily distance of around 200 km, running a cross-border route in the Benelux region. The truck refuels on a daily basis at a mobile fuel station from Wystrach as part of the project. It transports deliveries of DHL Express’ customer Apple. During the piloting phase, up to 35 tons of CO2 can be saved with the new technology.
In line with its Sustainability Roadmap, Deutsche Post DHL Group is heavily investing in the use of alternative fuels. Hydrogen is opening up a new market and can contribute to green transport solutions. Insights from the project help evaluate the potential of this fuel alternative and support decision-making processes.
AASA calls for urgent action in the Southern Africa air transport industry
The Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA) has warned that without urgent and coordinated government interventions, a commercially viable, economic, and environmentally sustainable southern African air transport industry will remain unattainable.
Urgent actions Aasa has identified include:
• The removal of barriers to trade and market access with the full implementation of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to support the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
• Financial relief for airlines by way of reducing or scrapping some taxes and statutory charges, fees and levies on air travel.
• Standardising currently inconsistent Covid-19 travel and test requirements and reducing the costs of compliance which together are deterring intra-Africa and inter-continental travel.
• The appointment of South Africa’s international and domestic air services licencing councils – which have been without councillors since April. Without these functioning bodies, South African carriers cannot apply to open new routes, promote economic activity or create more jobs. And yet foreign airlines are increasing their operations to the country – an own goal.
• Proper planning with clear timelines and funding models for the transition to sustainable fuels in the region so that airlines can meet their 2050 net-zero emissions targets.
• Finding ways to incorporate the progress made with the Carbon Tax initiatives in some countries whilst harmonising participation in the global carbon offsetting programme under the auspices of the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (Corsia).
• Standardising charges for foreign operator permits, aircraft operating permits as well as removing the double-taxation on airlines and aircraft components by all African governments.
• Aligning legislation to adopt the 2001 Cape Town Convention on the ownership of moveable assets, which would immediately realise millions of dollars in savings for airlines (and other operators of mobile equipment) in the region.
4 things that motorists need to know
Most drivers would by now be acquainted with the new guidelines to competition in the South African automotive aftermarket. There is still uncertainty out there, however, in terms of what this really means for the general motorist. Kate Elliott, chief executive officer of Right to Repair South Africa (R2RSA), offers four things that consumers need to know about the new rules to help clear things up.
1. You have the right to choose your service provider
Independent service providers can now service and perform maintenance on cars both during the in-warranty period and after. “You may choose to service your vehicle at the dealer from whom you purchased your vehicle, or you can elect to shop around for the best possible price and service quality,” says Elliott.
2. Your warranty is protected no matter which service provider you choose
Elliott says previously, motor manufacturers would void the warranty if a vehicle was not serviced at the dealership. The Competition Commission has now declared this practice as incompatible with the Competition Act.
3. You are entitled to use non-original spare parts
With cost always being an issue, the good news is that consumers can now shop around and are entitled to use non-original spare parts (for example oil filters) in your vehicle during your vehicle’s in-warranty period and manufacturers are not entitled to void your warranty. “It is no different to selecting a generic antibiotic – the same just more cost-effective,” she says.
4. Unbundling of service/maintenance plans from the price of a vehicle
When you buy a car, vehicle retailers are now obliged to provide you with separate prices for your vehicle and for any value-added products that they might have on offer, such as service and maintenance plans.
Car retailers are also obliged to sell you a new vehicle without a service or maintenance plan if you do not wish to purchase one. “You do the maths,” she says, “and you may be pleasantly surprised at just how much you can knock off the purchase price of your car.”