Scania’s Sweden battery factory plans will support new full-electric and hybrid truck models

Swedish truck manufacturer Scania has announced plans to build a battery assembly plant and laboratory to support the range of electric trucks that it will manufacture in the coming years.

It is investing ‘well over’ SEK 1 billion (£86m) on the 18,000m2 facility, expected to be fully operational by 2023. “Operating an on-site battery assembly plant is a prerequisite for large-scale production of electric vehicles and it also establishes Scania clearly as a part of the battery production value chain,” said Ruthger de Vries, head of production and logistics at Scania.

The plant will be built adjacent to the chassis assembly plant in Södertälje, Sweden. Employing a staff of 200, it will assemble battery modules and packs from cells that will be delivered from Northvolt’s battery factory in Skellefteå, Sweden. The assembled packs form battery systems tailored for Scania’s modular production.

Battery packs will be tailored for varying applications and delivered to the nearby chassis assembly, which is concurrently being reorganised for parallel assembly of electric and combustion engine vehicles.

The company also announced an investment of EUR 15.5m in a laboratory to test battery performance and lifespan in varying climactic conditions.

In 2015, Scania started series production of hybrid buses and in 2019 of its first fully electric bus range. This was recently followed by the introduction of Scania’s plug-in hybrid truck, and the fully electric truck. Series production of the electric truck starts in 2021. Meanwhile, electrified industrial and marine power solutions are being developed. Scania will now gradually ramp up production, which is centred in Södertälje.

In September, Scania launched its first fully electric truck, with a range of up to 250 km (155mi). The three-axle truck is available with the option of either five, for a total of 165 kWh, or nine batteries totalling 300 kWh installed capacity. With five batteries the range is 130 km. The new electric motor delivers a continuous power of 230 kW (306bhp). The motor has two gears to provide high power over a wider speed span, thereby improving comfort. The batteries can be conveniently charged by 130 kW DC using a Combined Charging System (CCS) connector. The charging time is less than 55 minutes for the five-battery option and less than 100 minutes for the nine-battery option. Meanwhile, the batteries are continuously charged in motion through regenerative braking energy.

The vehicle also features Scania’s new truck is equipped for a fully-electric power take off. Instead of connecting auxiliaries to the interface that is usually located on the gearbox or engine, it is instead connected to an electrical connection box, called a DC box, mounted on the chassis. This gives a DC link of up to 60kW PTO for body auxiliaries such as refrigeration systems and hooklifts. The Scania electric truck is available with the L- and P-series cab, both of which are designed for urban operations.

Also in September, Scania launched a plug-in hybrid truck, with an electric range of up to 60km (37mi), combines the best of two worlds. It offers the flexible opportunities of the combustion engine with the outstanding benefits of silent and emission-free propulsion. The vehicle is intended urban transport operations for applications such as goods delivery, refuse collection, tipper trucks, hooklift trucks as well as fire and rescue. The Scania plug-in hybrid truck is available with the L- and P-series cab, both of which are designed for urban operations.

“Incorporating the hybrid truck into hauliers’ fleets is doubtless the simplest way of gaining experience of operating electric vehicles,” says Anders Lampinen, director, new technologies. “Acting as a bridge between the different technologies, this can help gain valuable experience in gradually expanding fleets to encompass a greater share of electric vehicles.”

Each of its three battery packs has an installed capacity of 30 kWh for a total of 90 kWh. In addition to the electric 115 kW motor – which is located between the engine and the gearbox – the hybrid truck comes with the 9-litre 276-355bhp diesel engine.

The truck comes equipped with a CCS charging connector to charge from the electric grid. With 95 kW DC charging, the three battery packs will be charged to 80% in approximately 35 minutes. The truck can also be charged through regenerative braking.

Scania Zone is a geo-fencing service that helps drivers in automatically switching propulsion mode to comply with traffic and environmental regulations as well as individually pre-defined policies for speed, noise and other emissions.

Related content