The days of the fossil-fuelled vehicle are numbered. For the transport system to become sustainable, it must be rapidly decarbonised – and that depends in large part on drastically ramping up the use of electric vehicles.
At Scania, phasing out carbon emissions from our rolling fleet is a key part of our strategy, and we have a science-based target in place to support this. Shifting to electric is vital to realising that goal.
Scania’s electrification journey started as early as 2014 with our electric hybrid buses, followed by hybrid trucks in 2016.
Now we offer an extended range of plug-in-hybrid and full electric vehicles. In 2020, we launched our first battery electric truck, designed for urban applications. The launch was the first phase in an electrification roadmap that will see Scania ramping up its production of electric vehicles, including trucks designed to carry increasingly heavier loads over longer distances. At the same time, we are working with our battery and charging infrastructure partners to reduce the charging time these vehicles will require. By 2023, we will have trucks capable of carrying 40 tonnes for four hours, or 60 tonnes for three hours, on a 45-minute charge.
By 2030, more than half of our new vehicles sales volume is expected to come from electrically powered vehicles.
Solving the infrastructure challenge
To shift the transport system to electric, we need more than just the right vehicles. For example, we need to make sure that switching to electric makes economic sense for our customers. For that to happen, there needs to be at least parity between the total cost of operating an electric vehicle compared with a fossil-fuelled alternative. At Scania, we support subsidies and other financial incentives to lower the cost of electric vehicles, as well as schemes to increase the cost of running vehicles with higher well-to-wheel emissions, such as road charges and energy taxation.
The other key challenge is to ensure that we have the right charging infrastructure in place. Lack of adequate charging infrastructure is one of the key barriers to ramping up electric transport. The issue is particularly challenging for heavy goods vehicles, which have specific charging requirements and in most cases require their own separate infrastructure.
Scaling up electric infrastructure is a major challenge that demands coordinated action across the whole ecosystem of transport. We are committed to working in partnership with others, including transport companies (our customers), buyers of transport services and infrastructure providers to ensure this happens. Examples of recent partnerships involving Scania include a plan to pioneer a high-performance charging network for heavy duty trucks, led by Scania’s owner, the TRATON GROUP in partnership with Daimler Truck and Volvo Group. Scania has also partnered with French global energy and services group ENGIE, and its subsidiary EVBox Group, to provide a complete depot charging solution to transport providers in 13 European countries.
How electric power will transform our business
The shift to electric power will not just radically change the transport system – it will also transform our business. Increasingly, Scania will focus on providing transport as a service, offering our customers a complete e-mobility solution that includes the sourcing of renewable energy to the installation and maintenance of charging equipment.
Batteries – including the supply of modules, packs and battery management systems – will also become an increasingly important part of our business.
Reducing the impacts of electric transport
Electric vehicles are key to cutting transport emissions. But for electric transport to be truly sustainable, we need to reduce impacts at every stage of their life cycle – from operating on fossil-free energy, to the carbon impact of manufacturing vehicles and all the way to the disposal of the batteries.
During the year we strengthened our partnership with Northvolt with a further investment in the pioneering sustainable battery company. Northvolt uses a circular model of production, where end-of-life battery materials are recovered and used to make more batteries. Thanks to the backing of Scania and other investors, Northvolt will be able to expand its Swedish factory from 40 GWh to 60 GWh, making it possible for the company to meet increased demand as more customers switch to electric vehicles.
In the end of 2021 Northvolt assembled its first lithium-ion battery cell at Swedish gigafactory in Skellefteå and commercial deliveries will begin in 2022.
Reducing the impact that the ecosystem of transport and logistics has on climate change cannot wait. Scania increased efforts further to drive the shift towards sustainable transport in 2019, whilst also continuing to grow and delivering record high volumes.
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