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Driving an electric truck 550 km in freezing cold

What’s it like driving an electric Scania truck for 550 kilometres in sub-zero temperatures? See for yourself in this film where we put UK trade journalist Will Shiers to the task. “I’m particularly impressed by the range,” he said.

Will Shiers is the editor of UK trade magazine Commercial Motor and also UK jury member for International Truck of the Year. So, who could be better suited to test drive a 34-ton Scania 40R BEV truck from Trysil, Norway to Scania’s hometown in Södertälje, Sweden?


“It’s 550 kilometres, so it’s the perfect opportunity to test the driveability and to see what the range is really like,” he said, as he contemplated the long journey ahead of him.


When Shiers began his drive eastwards, the temperature was at minus 23 Celsius. He wondered if that would have a bearing on the battery power.


“We’ve all heard horror stories of what happens with battery-electric vehicles when it gets cold, so this will be interesting,” he said.

“Thoroughly impressed by the truck and the range”

But Shiers’ worries proved to be unfounded. At the end of the first day, he was impressed by both the truck’s and the batteries’ performance.


“We’ve done 300 kilometres today. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the truck and, in particular, the range”, he explained.


“When we got to the Swedish border, we were on 200 kilometres, and we still had 40 percent left. We could have done it all in one hit, but we stopped at a charging station, topped it up to 100 and carried on.”

“It was an absolute joy to drive”

Shiers described the Scania 40 R as “an absolute joy to drive”.


“Whatever your feelings are on electric trucks, put them behind you and have a drive in one of these – it is fantastic. So smooth; effortless, in fact. Instant torque, you don’t notice the gear changes…it does everything you expect from a Scania, only quieter and that little bit smoother.”

Charging up to 100 percent took 46 minutes

He was also impressed by the speed of the charging.


“Yesterday evening we charged on a 350 kW-charger. That let us take the charge from 36 percent to a 100 percent in 46 minutes. So, it’s perfect for a driver’s 45-minute break.”


Shiers did admit to finding the final leg of the two-day trip a bit stressful, knowing the truck had to do 300 km in sub-zero temperatures on just a single charge.


“But I need not have worried, it’s finished with 26 percent left”, he said, just after he reached Södertälje.

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