Trucks running on gas planned for SA
Autonomous and heavy-duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas could be coming to South Africa in the near future.
This was revealed by newly-appointed vice-president of Volvo Group Southern Africa Marcus Hörberg at the Festival of Motoring at Kylami Race track in Johannesburg recently.
He told journalists that there are a lot of technological changes expected to happen in the trucking industry to help with energy efficiency and alternative fuels.
The company has recently produced the FL and FE trucks that will be first range of fully electrical powered Volvo trucks and will be available in Europe next year.
He said the company had the Volvo LNG, a heavy-duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas.
“We will test trucks that run on liquefied fuel that will improve environmental care. We have two pilot projects in Europe where we are using this technology. We have trucks working in the mining industry and it’s been doing well and will come sooner or later to South Africa and this will contribute to customer success and to society.”
Hörberg announced that the company would also be investing R146-million in a state-of-the-art truck centre in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.
He also said the company was piloting a driver academy to train women to become truck drivers in SA.
“Safety has been on our DNA since the start of our company 90 years ago. We want to train a number of drivers for our customers so they can be more successful. We want to extend on it and want to attract more women into the industry.”
Safety has been on our DNA since the start of our company 90 years ago. We want to train a number of drivers for our customers so they can be more successful. We want to extend on it and want to attract more women into the industryMarcus Hörberg
He drew the idea from when he worked as vice-president for Volvo in Peru during the last five years.
“In Peru we have a programme called Iron Women, very few women were driving heavy duty trucks and we wanted to change that.
“There are studies that show that women are responsible drivers. By training women we can help customers save costs and lives on the road by avoiding crashes to contribute to a better society. Thousands of people lost their lives in South African roads. The company is currently running “The Stop, Look and Wave” training programme aimed at children.
“It started in South Africa two months ago. We go to schools in less privileged areas and teach children how to react in traffic.”