Switching on: Scania’s battery assembly plant powers up
Today marks a historic moment for Scania as its new, purpose-built battery assembly plant in Södertälje comes on-line. The factory will take battery cells produced jointly by Scania and Northvolt in northern Sweden and assemble them into modules and then into battery packs, to be transferred to the assembly line, located within the same production precinct.
“At Scania, we have made it our purpose to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system. With the battery assembly plant in operation, we have one of the key enablers in place to accelerate the shift to electrification,” says Christian Levin, President and CEO Scania and TRATON GROUP.
Scania is targeting 50% of its vehicle sales to be battery-powered by 2030. Further ahead, up to 100% of vehicles can run on electricity.
“The shift to electrified solutions is the biggest transformation in the history of transport, and 2023 is the year when it truly takes off,” Christian says.
“The proof points are being launched one by one, and the 1.5 billion SEK (AU$210 million) investment in this new battery assembly plant is one of them,” he says.
In April 2023, Scania and Northvolt unveiled a jointly developed battery cell, specifically designed for heavy-duty transport with outstanding performance and a uniquely low carbon footprint.
These cells are produced at the Northvolt ETT gigafactory in northern Sweden and will, as from 5 September, be assembled into packs at the new 18,000-square-meter plant in Södertälje, enabling the start of serial production of Scania’s premium electric trucks for regional transport.
The installed capacity at the factory allows it to handle one battery cell every second, while a battery pack is produced every four minutes.
The module line is fully automated with 38 robots doing the work. The pack line is around 50 percent automated, with 34 robots and employees working together. The assembled packs form battery systems tailored for Scania’s modular vehicle manufacturing.
The assembly plant will work around the clock to supply the chassis production line with the batteries it needs. A typical truck could contain up to 1,000 battery cells formed into modules and packs, which can weigh up to 1200 kg.
Annual battery module capacity has been configured to match the total number of trucks built at the adjacent production facility.
By locating the assembly plant close to the chassis line in Södertälje, which was reconfigured this summer for large-scale production of electric vehicles, the conditions for fast and efficient manufacturing flows are in place. The battery assembly plant will employ 550 Scania colleagues at full capacity.
“Despite a rapidly changing business landscape, our promise to always put our customers first remains,” says Marcus Holm, Head of Production and Logistics at Scania.
“Being premium means that we deliver solutions that are both highest quality - and sustainable. The cell now being assembled into modules and packs is a perfect example of this. The battery packs can power trucks for 1.5 million km – equivalent to a truck’s lifetime. It is a privilege to drive change together with all our partners and customers,” Marcus says.