Volvo Trucks first extra heavy electric truck on SA roads

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Volvo Trucks South Africa took their first electric FM truck tractor on a road trip to see what it is like driving on local roads. Currently, they are busy with the homologation of these extra-heavy electric truck units and will start with some local testing after this has been concluded. Plans are to present the first of these vehicles to a local customer, KDG Logistics, within the next two months, once all statutory procedures have been adhered to.
First Volvo FM electric in South Africa
Volvo Trucks South Africa first FM electric truck tractor at the Volvo Trucks & Buses Durban dealership

Eric Parry, Volvo Trucks SA’s sustainable solutions manager, took the Volvo FM 4x2 truck-tractor through its paces on a trip from the company’s dealer in Durban to its facilities in Johannesburg – a 600km journey, with only one stop for charging.


“We aimed to prove that an extra heavy electric truck like this, can drive long distances. Even though we didn’t carry any payload, it still gave us a good indication of just what this truck is capable of,” said Parry. “Generally, battery electric trucks are used in regional distribution, operating in and around cities, running from distribution centres to stores, etc. But with proper planning, customers will be able to do so much more.”


Volvo Trucks South Africa is bringing in its complete extra-heavy electric truck range, which includes FH, FM and FMX models in truck-tractor and rigid configurations. Axle combinations will also include 4x2 through to 8x4 models. The full load on the first FM units will be 44 tonnes GCM (Gross Combination Mass). With a drive line with 490kW of power and 2400Nm of torque, it will definitely not struggle to get the job done.


“Locally, there has been a lot of activity and interest around electromobility, a lot quicker than we anticipated, and the enthusiasm and opportunities in South Africa are there,” said Sally Rutter, Volvo Trucks South Africa’s sales director. “Irrespective of local challenges when it comes to loadshedding and infrastructure, a lot of customers are looking at setting up their own charging infrastructures to accommodate electromobility and their own sustainability goals.”


“These trucks can run meaningful kilometres in a day and if you have your charging set-up optimised, you can extend that range quite comfortably and match your operations to it,” said Parry. “Within regional operations, public charging is not really relevant for these types of fleets and having control of their own charging will allow customers to fix their costs of energy.”


Volvo Trucks electric trucks are designed to operate in a wide range of climates and environments. This includes higher altitudes and warmer conditions typically found in South Africa.


“These electric trucks will be working commercial vehicles, and are designed to be treated and driven as such,” said Parry. “We are excited about Volvo Trucks’ electromobility future in South Africa.”



LINK to the film to follow the trip of Volvo Trucks’ first electric Volvo FM from its dealership in Durban, KZN up to our dealership in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Covering almost 600km with the need for only one stop for charging, from start to finish. Join Eric Parry, Sustainable Solutions Manager and Sally Rutter, Sales Director on their expedition and the start of our electromobility journey.

For further information, please contact:

Joe Pretorius
Brand Manager, Volvo Trucks
Tel: +27 11 842 5000

Volvo Trucks supplies complete transport solutions for discerning professional customers with its full range of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Customer support is provided via a global network of dealers with 2,300 service points in about 130 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 12 countries across the globe. In 2022 approximately 145,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. Volvo Trucks’ work is based on the core values of quality, safety and environmental care.