Saturday 27 February 2021

Scania makes major battery investment

Truck and bus manufacturer Scania is to invest almost €1 billion in battery technology as it expands its range of electric vehicles to meet the ACEA diesel production phase-out deadline of 2040.

The Traton subsidiary is to open a €15.5 million battery laboratory and invest in a battery assembly plant worth over €0.82 billion at its headquarters in Södertälje, Sweden. Construction of the lab, which is already underway, will be complete by autumn, while the plant itself will be fully operational by 2023.

Both facilities are dedicated to Scania, and will not be used to produce products for fellow Traton subsidiary MAN.

The laboratory will contain three 250-square metre test halls for battery cells, modules and packs. Adjacent to these halls, the laboratory will also have facilities for test sample preparation to improve work environment, safety and testing uptime.

Primarily focus is on battery performance and lifespan evaluation in varying climate conditions from -40°C to 70°C. Scania’s engineers will examine and identify the best operational conditions for the battery with regard to temperature setpoint and other parameters.

Claes Erixon, head of research and development at Scania, said: “With the accelerating pace of development, the laboratory will strengthen our capacity to right-size batteries for every application.

“We have an ambitious roadmap ahead of us in annually launching new and updated electric products with related battery services. This underscores the need for world-class skills and knowledge in battery usage and lifecycle optimisation.

“Scania will continue to invest in competence both in our own operations as well as through important partnerships. We are going to make sure that Södertälje and the Stockholm region will remain in the forefront of in the research and development also in an electrified future of heavy transport.”

The first production all-electric Scania trucks are due for completion this year. Scania has been making all-electric buses since 2019, and is also developing electric industrial and marine power solutions. The plant, adjacent to the chassis assembly plant in Södertälje, will assemble battery modules and packs from cells which will be delivered from Northvolt’s battery factory in Skellefteå, Sweden. The assembled packs form battery systems tailored for Scania’s modular production.

Scania first invested in Swedish battery start-up Northvolt in 2018, and announced a further investment last year.

Ruthger de Vries, Scania’s head of production and logistics, said: “This is a tangible manifestation of our determination to take a leading role in heavy vehicle electrification, which is needed to fulfil our commitment to science-based climate targets.

“Operating an on-site battery assembly plant is a prerequisite for large-scale production of electric vehicles and it also establishes Scania clearly as a part of the battery production value chain.”

Comments are closed.