The path to sustainable transport

The path to sustainable transport

With demand for goods transport on the rise, the transport industry’s challenge is to manage growth while reducing emissions.

Optimisation starts with efficient vehicles. Scania’s approach to creating greater efficiency can be seen in Ecolution by Scania, a solution that focuses on optimising vehicles for customer needs, improving driving skills, and using alternative fuels wherever possible. Meanwhile, Scania Active Predication, the company’s cruise control system that uses GPS and topographical map data to regulate cruising speeds, can boost fuel efficiency by 5-10 percent over vehicles without this function.

Logistics is often highly complex, involving many variables that can make the flow less efficient.

For example, a standard European long-haul truck can handle 26 tonnes of goods, but in Europe today, trucks typically travel with about half that fill rate, or 14 tonnes.

Higher payloads, longer trailers, and platooning can all increase optimisation, something that Scania’s R&D department is focused on. The company is currently devoting resources to further exploring smarter logistics planning.

Long trailers maximise efficiency

Scania advocates the use of longer vehicle combinations so that greater quantities of goods can be transported, improving efficiency. In 2014, Scania began testing tractor units connected to two full-length trailers resulting in 31.5-metre rigs. The trials, which were conducted in Sweden with permission from the Swedish Transport Agency, are continuing in 2015. Scania is also engaged in dialogue with the EU regarding opportunities for introducing double trailers and increasing maximum truck lengths from today’s standard of 18.75 metres to 25.25 metres.

Challenges in emerging markets

Over the coming decades, most global oil demand will come from the transport sector in non-OECD countries. Scania is looking for ways to transfer its logistics expertise to Asia, Africa and Latin America, helping to build demand for efficient and sustainable vehicles.

The efficiency of the transport sector in emerging markets is lagging behind developed markets and levels of emissions tend to be high. One result of this is severe air pollution in some major cities. Scania’s Euro 6 offering promises to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates by about 80 percent compared with the EU’s pre-2014 regulatory standards. It’s unique in being able to achieve this without compromising on fuel efficiency. Although not yet required by legislation, Scania’s Euro 6 engines have been launched in some key Asian markets in 2015.