Swedish truck maker Scania is adding to its lineup of biodiesel-friendly options in its trucks. After giving the OK for a line of trucks to run on renewable diesel and having an Australian company declare it would brew its own biodiesel to use in its fleet of Scania trucks, the company has now announced a Scania-developed hybrid truck for urban distribution combining electric and biodiesel operation, enhancing the company’s position as the manufacturer with the widest range of alternative fuels.
“No matter what driving conditions are like or what local circumstances are, there is probably always an alternative solution available from Scania, right here and now,” claims Magnus Höglund, responsible for alternative fuels and powertrains at Scania Trucks. “This launch lets us demonstrate to all types of transport players that they can reduce their CO2 footprint very simply, without giving up anything or incurring significantly higher costs.”
The newest and most spectacular item in Scania’s offer is the hybrid truck now premiering and being test-driven by European trucking and environmental journalists. The hybrid solution, developed by Scania itself, allows an 18-tonne distribution truck to operate solely on electric power for up to two kilometres.
Electric operation is primarily intended for situations where other solutions don’t measure up, for example, city distribution at night in noise sensitive areas or driving through warehouses and car parks where one doesn’t want any exhaust fumes at all. Electric power is combined with Scania’s 9-litre Euro 6 engine with 320 hp, which can be operated on 100 percent biodiesel, such as FAME or HVO. With this latter fuel, CO2 can be reduced by as much as 92 percent.
“It’s a very special experience to drive a heavy truck when the only sound comes from the hissing of tires against asphalt and a mild breeze,” explains Höglund. “What we’re seeing here is the beginning of a revolution that will make a big difference. Soundless and partly exhaust-free trucks can do a better job in cities at night with goods distribution, cleaning, waste collection and other city maintenance tasks. Hybridisation can also lead to a higher utilisation of every single vehicle when the range of uses expands.”