Customers Can Tell Exactly How Scania Should Build Its BEV Trucks
Modularization, not customization, is how Scania builds BEV trucks that perform various tasks, from mining transport and tipping, waste management, and food delivery. Using a series of modular components, the company can make trucks for different functions, picking up cabs, powertrains, bodies, chassis and wheel configurations from a “bin” which now includes lithium battery layouts.
Modular assembly is one of the key strengths of the company, which can also, if necessary, have components purpose-built by other vendors based on the design requirements of customers.
In this story, CleanTechnica reached out to Scania to find out the variations of BEV trucks it has built since the company made a clear decision to electrify its line-up in 2019 and started implementing in 2020.
Last year, the company created a completely electrified 64-ton chilled foods truck for Dagab, a Swedish food brand under the company Axfood. Dagab has already been using hybrid vehicles in Stockholm and added this huge refrigerated transporter for use in the Gothenburg region, proving how Scania can deliver smart technology for chilled and frozen electrified food transports.
Since charging infrastructure is a vital component for heavy transports, Scania and Dagab created stations that charge vehicles with green electricity. The aim for this truck is to operate more than the company’s other non-electric vehicles, with at least two shifts daily, translating to a significant decrease in climate and environmental impact, on a route of about 300-450 km per day. With a third shift, the impact on climate will be even less.
Heavy electric transports and transports of chilled foods are a challenge when it comes to technology, since it takes compatible interfaces between power outlets for temperature control and smart integration to minimize the energy consumption for both truck and trailer. The vehicle therefore has stronger components than the electric vehicles Scania now has in series production to be able to handle the demanding operations.
“To have fossil free foods transports is necessary to lower climate impact from our vehicles. When we now use an electric truck this size, we make a real difference and decrease our emissions. This is yet another step towards completely fossil free transports and zero-emission operations by 2030 at the latest,” said Helena Blom, Transport Manager at Dagab, pointing out that the electric truck started its run at summer 2022 and revealed plans to show it at an important European truck fair at Elmia by the end of August.
Scania’s modular assembly systems also created an electric Heavy Tipper truck which started operations earlier this year and will be in operations for five months this August. The tipper truck works alongside an electric crane truck in the LKAB mine in Malmberget, in northern Sweden.
These vehicles were created with close customer coordination, and the development gives Scania a chance to test and operate fully electric trucks in a demanding underground mine environment.
“The electric trucks are part of an ambition to set a new standard for sustainable mining, where fossil-free is used all the way. We are shifting our fleet away from fossil diesel and as we are testing the capacity of battery-powered electric vehicles, decisions are taken with respect to the choice of trucks must not only contribute to higher productivity but, above all, also a more sustainable mine and a safer work environment,” Peter Gustavsson, project manager at LKAB, said in a press statement.
The heavy tipper has a total weight including the load of 49 tons, and will transport residual products. The second truck is equipped with a crane, purpose-fit to transport drill steel to underground drill rigs. The electric truck with the crane will be charged at the depot, but mobile charging at the sites will also be possible to increase flexibility.
A second project, also in the same sector, involves a cooperation this time with mining company Boliden. A 74-ton electrified truck for heavy transport was turned over to the company early this spring of 2022. The electrified truck is a part of the company’s aim to decrease its CO2-emissions with 40% by 2030. The truck has tested its full capacity in use early this quarter.
The technical solutions for the electrified truck is based on the current series-produced technology from Scania’s modular “bin” but with stronger components added because of the nature of the work the truck is tasked to do.
Delivering The Goods
Scania is building a total of 110 BEV trucks for the Swedish freight technology company Einride, which already has one of Europe’s largest heavy duty electric fleets. As a leading provider of end-to-end digital, electric and autonomous shipping solutions, Einride plans further expand its market presence with this partnership.
The trucks were built to Einride’s hardware specifications and powered by its first of its kind operating system called Saga. Fleet data insights that are generated through the Saga platform will be provided to Scania for continued product co-development between the teams. This ensures that the further development of the electric shipping trucks are efficient and optimized.
“We are looking forward to the beginning of this vital partnership as we expand across Europe. These 110 trucks will make a substantial contribution to increasing our fleet, while we will continue to join forces with renowned industry players such as Scania to drive innovation and product development in the global transport industry,” Ellen Kugelberg, Chief Product Officer, Einride explained.
Einride’s order is the largest deal to date of electric heavy-duty vehicles in Europe for Scania. It is also only the beginning of a new long-term partnership that will contribute to both companies’ ambition to scale up electric road freight.
As this is being written, Scania is completing delivery of 78 fully electric L-series trucks to Amager Resource Center (ARC) for urban waste handling in the Copenhagen region. The first two trucks were already delivered last December 2021 and the rest of the fleet will be delivered throughout 2022 and into the first half of 2023. The company may require an additional 23 trucks once this order is completed.
The low-entry L-series cabs, featuring the Scania City Door, improve the working conditions for drivers and crews with their ergonomics and driver comfort, optimized for urban transport operations that include frequent stops.
“It was important for us, that the trucks have a high level of safety and new innovative safety solutions. Scania also offered comprehensive training and education including standby service in combination with a strong service network which ensures high uptime,” Jacob Hartvig Simonsen, Managing Director, ARC explained.
Decarbonizing waste management and recycling is an important part of Copenhagen’s ambitious goal to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025. ARC’s iconic Amager Bakke waste energy plant, with its rooftop ski slope and recreation area, is a symbol of the city’s sustainable ambitions, and ARC aims for it to become the world’s first carbon-neutral waste energy plant.
Taking Charge On The Road
The first electric road test track fitted with catenary overhead lines has been up in Germany since June 2020. Two years later, the track located along the A5 roadway near Frankfurt is being extended by another 7 kilometers, the construction of which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Scania initially ran three EV trucks fitted with pantographs. By January 2021, five trucks were using the five-kilometer electric roadway. Another seven trucks were added before the beginning of this year.
Though under trials, actual deliveries are being done, Scania manages vehicle maintenance and data collection from the test vehicles. The first four catenary trucks are being operated by Schanz, Meyer Logistics, Contargo and Merck. The last of the five trucks was delivered last year to the German building materials supplier company Knauf. With all five trucks now in daily traffic along the five-kilometer electrified segment on the A5 motorway, data will be collected for several studies to examine the benefits of e-roads.
“This pilot project fits well with our commitment to use all resources responsibly. We hope that this will provide insights that can help us make our logistics processes even more sustainable, especially in metropolitan areas,” Knauf Group Manager Christoph Dorn said.
Developed by Siemens, the electrification system used on these roads allows trucks with the necessary pantograph mounted to their roof to travel at speeds of up to 90 km/h on fully electrical power, converting back to the truck’s internal combustion engine once leaving the electrified stretch, ideally powered by biodiesel for a larger CO2-reduction.
“If the feedback is positive, and if about one-third of the German motorway network is equipped with electrified catenary lines, in future approximately 80 percent of the heavy trucks registered in Germany will be able to operate in an electric mode using this technology. That will make a really significant contribution to reducing carbon emission,” Heinrich Kerstgens, Co-Managing Director of Contargo, explains.
R&D At New Test Track
Scania has also invested heavily in its new Södertälje test track for electric vehicles (EVs) and self-driving vehicles. This site is also where the company set up its new headquarters. This test facility is where the company will develop and test its future BEV trucks.
“We continue to work with customers that are willing to try innovative solutions together with us. For Scania it is very valuable to be able to test electric vehicles in the extreme environment in real customers operations towards sustainable transport solutions across all applications,” Fredrik Allard, Head of E-mobility, Scania said.
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