First test for new solar-powered hybrid Scania truck

In News, Scania3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 1, 2023

Scania is part of a new research collaboration testing a hybrid truck with a solar panel covered trailer on public roads.

The two-year research collaboration comprises Scania, Uppsala University, Eksjö Maskin & Truck, Midsummer, Ernsts Express, and Dalakraft.

The solar energy decreases operational costs and local emissions significantly because of the truck’s self-produced energy.

The truck is used in a research project to examine the generated solar energy, and how much carbon emissions decrease via the solar panels. The researchers developed new, efficient, and lightweight solar panels for trucks. They also study how trucks can interact with the power grid, and bring forward new models for what will happen if several trucks like this one are connected to the power grid.

5000km prolonged driving range annually

The truck’s 18-metre trailer is almost completely covered in solar panels, equivalent to a house equipped with similarly powerful panels. The solar energy gives the hybrid truck a prolonged driving range of up to 5000km annually in Sweden. In countries like Spain, with more sun hours, the vehicle can double the amount of solar energy and thus driving range compared to Swedish circumstances.

The project also includes research on new, lightweight tandem solar cells, that are based on a combination of Midsummer’s solar cells and new perovskite solar cells. These enable a higher efficiency in the transformation of sunlight to electricity. Such a solution could double the solar energy generation, compared to the current energy generated by the panels.

560hp plug-in hybrid with 100m2 of solar panels.

The truck will now be tested by operating on public roads by haulage company Ernsts Express AB.

The solar powered truck has been developed in a research project partly funded by government agency of innovation Vinnova, to develop trucks with low climate impact thanks to solar energy. The truck is a 560hp plug-in hybrid.

On the 18-metre trailer, an area of 100m2 is covered by thin, lightweight and flexible solar panels with a maximum efficiency of 13,2kWp. They are estimated to deliver 8000kWh annually when operated in Sweden. The batteries have a total capacity of 300kWh, with 100kWh on the truck and 200kWh on the trailer.

“Scania’s purpose is to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system. Never before have solar panels been used to generate energy to a truck’s powertrain like we do in this collaboration,” said Stas Krupenia, head of the research office at Scania.

“This natural energy source can significantly decrease emissions in the transport sector. It is great to be at the forefront in the development of the next generation’s trucks.” says.