SAB launches ‘first electric trucks in South Africa’ – in new push to go off-grid

 ·17 Jan 2020

SAB and AB InBev Africa’s breweries across South Africa will have on-site solar facilities by the end of January 2020, as part of a new multi-billion rand energy project.

The ultimate goal of the project, the group said, is to purchase 100% of the business’s electricity requirements at manufacturing sites across Africa by 2025.

The solar power installations – at its seven South African breweries – will partially power each facility, and represents 7% of the business’s electricity requirements.

AB InBev’s global renewable energy commitment is to have 50% of the company’s purchased electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 100% by 2025.

“We’ve achieved our 50% target in key markets across the globe ahead of schedule and we are well on track to achieve our 100% ambition with good progress being made in Africa,” said Taryn Rosekilly, vice president of sustainability, SAB and AB InBev Africa.


As part of this renewable energy initiative, the brewery group also demonstrated the first electric truck to arrive on South African shores.

The vehicle, known as the ‘eCanter’, is designed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of the Daimler Group’s global commercial vehicles business.

Boasting zero emissions, the 7.5 ton FUSO eCanter is the first of its kind in the world, the group said.

The vehicle has a battery capacity of 82.8 kWh and a distance range of approximately 100-120km.

It is currently operating in customer hands in multiple countries, including Germany, Japan, Portugal, and has now been brought to South Africa for customer demonstrations.

Electricity tender

SAB and AB InBev Africa said it is also in the process of working on a Pan-African renewable energy tender, which would source an equivalent of 440 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity to meet its 2025 energy targets.

“This represents an initial investment of approximately R5.6-billion ($396-million) for installation at these facilities, which would be invested by the business’s development partners with a further R12.4 billion (USD$866 million) in energy cost that would be committed by AB InBev over a 20-year period,” the group said.

“The implementation will consist of three phases beginning with onsite solar installations with a capital investment of around R1.1 billion.”

The group said that once maximum capacity onsite has been achieved, renewable energy solutions will expand to appropriately identified sites surrounding the breweries:

  • Phase 1 represents on-site solar installations;
  • Phase 2 are renewable energy solutions installed on land adjacent to SAB’s breweries which would be hardwired cables to its breweries;
  • Phase 3 will involve offsite renewable energy solutions, which comprise of remote installations requiring wheeling agreements to deliver the power to our breweries.

“In line with the above, SAB plans to migrate one of its South African facilities to 100% renewable energy supply by the end of 2020, one of the first of its kind in the country.

“The multi-faceted solution will encompass a wind and solar energy mix, a wheeling arrangement and energy banking,” it said.

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