You seem to be located in .

Go to your Scania market site for more information.

Scania calls on EU policy-makers to help speed up electrification

18 APRIL 2023

As Sweden’s Presidency of the European Union continues, Jennie Cato explains why Scania is pushing for less bureaucracy and more enabling factors to make the electrification of the heavy transport system happen quicker.  

Scania is sending a clear message to European Union policy-makers on transport electrification: cut the red tape and provide us with the enabling factors to drive the changes that our industry and our planet need.

“Our message to policy-makers on electrification is clear: we are ready, the vehicles are here,” says Jennie Cato, Head of Public Affairs and Governmental Relations at Scania. The company already has urban electric trucks in serial production, and will start delivering premium heavy-duty vehicles later this year.

“The trucks will not be the bottleneck in the transition. What’s needed is political leadership providing enabling factors and minimizing distracting regulations along the road.”

Scania’s call to action comes as Sweden continues its Presidency of the European Union through the first half of 2023, and acknowledges the importance of legislation, which can either smooth the way forward or slow things down.

“EU regulation is crucial for our ability to reach our targets for climate emissions and electric sales,” says Cato.

“The EU’s ambitious targets are in line with our own. Provided that CO2 standards, Euro 7 and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) are set-up well and function as a complete package, these legislations will contribute to mitigating CO2, improving air quality and public health, and bolstering the competitiveness of the European automotive industry.”

What are the key enabling factors that Scania is calling for?

“We want to see a two-fold outcome from the ongoing policy work,” says Cato. “First, to secure access to green electricity and charging infrastructure. Second, to establish price parity between electric and fossil-driven transport, using efficient carbon pricing measures including CO2-based road charges and implementation of an Emission Trading System for road transport. When electric transportation is of a comparable cost to fossil-fuel transports, the choice to go electric becomes easy for everyone.”

You mentioned distracting regulations: do you have any examples?

“We do for instance see risks with the proposed Euro 7 regulation. The EU Commission is suggesting much stricter emissions standards that require deeper cuts, and new testing methods for combustion engines to contribute to improved
air quality in cities,” Cato explains.

“However, it has become clear that this will not contribute to any significant improvements, and that a combination of speeding up electrification and phasing out older vehicles will have a much greater effect. Instead, the regulation forces us to move substantial engineering and financial resources from electric vehicles to the internal combustion engine, which will slow down the transition to electric transport. We are not opposed to Euro 7 in principle, but we want its scope and timetable to be adjusted. We also want EU decision-makers to see the potential of electrification. Today, that potential is being underestimated.”

What is Scania’s view on the proposed CO2 regulation for heavy-duty vehicles?

“We welcome the CO2 proposal, and we note that the ambitions are very much in line with our own, but we are cautious about the fact that the market uptake for zero-emission vehicles is totally dependent on enabling factors, such as charging infrastructure and a favourable total cost of ownership for our customers,” says Cato.

“Ambitious CO2 reduction targets will help speed up the transition, giving the market a strong signal. The targets are based on tailpipe emissions as calculated in the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool, VECTO.”

You mention VECTO; as part of the CO2 regulation there is also a proposal for a more specified test methodology regarding air drag in VECTO; what is your view on that?

“All amendments to already established test methodologies are always challenging, be it new test methods in Euro 7 or, as now, for legislative CO2 standards in VECTO. Testing is very complicated and relies on a broad spectrum of sensitive parameters. We have invested in developing excellent aerodynamics for our products because low air drag gives low energy consumption, which in turn lowers our customers’ total operating economy. Scania has also spent a lot of time understanding the test criteria in order to obtain representative air drag values, with optimal and consistent accuracy. As a result, our air drag values are some 20 percent lower than those of other vehicle manufacturers,” says Cato.

“The European Commission’s proposed method involves a new element with verification by a third-party body, a much stricter pass/fail span, and testing on used vehicles instead of new vehicles. We know that even when we do testing ourselves in a controlled environment, there is still a large variation in the air drag results, due to very small changes in wind directions, temperature, and so on. The  European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, ACEA, has estimated that the variation in air drag measurements from the suggested constant speed testing in a normal situation is approximately ten percent. If a third-party body were to conduct the testing the expected variation could be up to 25 percent.

“To precede the proposed new definitions of testing procedures, Scania commissioned an independent third party to conduct such a test to see how big the differences were. This showed that the air-drag value in this specific test was almost ten percent higher than the certified value. This is mainly due to test procedures and weather conditions.   

“Based on all this, Scania’s position is that the very narrow pass and fail criteria compared to the third-party certified air drag values must be increased due to the inherent uncertainty of the test method suggested by the European Commission.”

Having now addressed three specific ongoing legislations, what do you want to see above all else from EU decision-makers?

“We need a holistic view of legislation. Regulations are necessary, but they need to enable the transition to electric transport, not slow it down," says Cato.

“Policy-makers need to see the great potential of the electrification of transport and work together with industry to make the most of the fantastic potential we have. I truly believe that many of the measures that are now causing distractions are caused by an out-of-date view of transport and the automotive industry. In the future, every transport will be electric: be it urban transport, heavy-duty within mining or long-haulage. By working in lockstep, policy-makers and industry can drive great and swift change. The more we work together, the sooner we can make the future electric.”