Following six-month trials of the battery electric Scania Citywide in the northern Swedish city of Östersund, results are encouraging and Scania is moving forward toward serial production.
“We have an uptime level which is basically in line with our conventional buses,” reports Karin Rådström, Head of Buses and Coaches, Scania. “The buses are performing very well and both the operator and the public transport authority are pleased.”
Wide range of buses meeting diverging demands
In developing battery electric buses, Scania adheres to its modular philosophy to meet diverging demands. “We know that all cities and operators have varying demands and that won’t change just because the buses are electrically powered. However, robustness and uptime will remain as important as ever.”
“In the long run, the total cost of operating battery electric buses will come down since we can use and reuse technology and the same parts as in our conventional buses. That will also enable us to provide a wide range of different versions of electric buses, such as articulated variants and buses with different bodies.”
Rådström underlines that battery electric buses are only effective in curbing carbon emissions if the charging electricity is generated through clean energy. In Östersund, the buses are charged on hydroelectric power and are thereby fully fossil free.
Electricity and fossil-free fuels
Battery electric buses are best suited for inner city bus operations that actually only account for one-fifth of bus operations in urban areas. “In different areas of the city, there will be different needs. Our electric bus has its place in the inner city but in suburbs and in traffic between the inner city and suburbs we have other solutions that we believe are more suitable such as buses fuelled by natural and biogas as well as our hybrid buses.”
Meanwhile, Scania continues its trials in Östersund to the delight of passengers. “They like riding the electric bus because it’s quiet and the journey is very comfortable, and happy customers are what ultimately drives our business,” says Rådström.