Wednesday, December 6 2023 Sign In   |    Register

News Quick Search



Front Page
Power News
Today's News
Yesterday's News
Week of Dec 04
Week of Nov 27
Week of Nov 20
Week of Nov 13
Week of Nov 06
By Topic
By News Partner
Gas News
News Customization


Pro Plus(+)

Add on products to your professional subscription.
  • Energy Archive News

    Home > News > Power News > News Article

    Share by Email E-mail Printer Friendly Print

    ALTERNATIVE POWER - Scania sees a bright future for its solar-powered truck

    September 21, 2023 - Business Day


      ALTERNATIVE POWER Scania sees a bright future for its solar-powered truck

      If solar works in Sweden it can work anywhere, says project manager Eric Falkgrim

      Denis DroppaScania is experimenting with the world’s first solar-powered truck. Covered in dozens of solar panels, the heavy duty vehicle has a range of up to 5,000km per year in Sweden, and double that in countries with more sunshine.

      Part of the Swedish company’s efforts to reduce global warming, the hybrid-electric truck generates electrical propulsion using the solar panels installed along the sides and roof of the trailer.

      The experimental vehicle is being tested on public roads and Scania hopes to develop the technology for use in commercial transport fleets.

      "If you can make solar work in Sweden, you can make it work anywhere," says Eric Falkgrim, project manager of Scania’s solar-powered truck development.

      "When we first began thinking about this more than three years ago, our starting point was the lithium-ion batteries that are used in battery-electric trucks. In the time that Scania has been working with that technology, we’ve seen the batteries become lighter, cheaper and more energy-dense," he explains.

      "We asked ourselves: ‘What if solar cells show a similar trend? If the efficiency of the cells doubles, the cost halves or drops away a lot, is there a break-even point?’ We wanted to find out if it makes sense to develop this technology."

      An initial six-month pre-study in late 2019 and early 2020 realised the viability of the technology and led the team to explore further. The prototype truck has been handed over to long-term Scania haulage customer and partner Ernst Express, who will test it in operational conditions on Swedish roads.

      "We specifically wanted to see if it made sense in Sweden because if you go to places such as Southern Europe, Australia or North Africa, there’s obviously a lot more sunshine. If it can work here in the less sunny and somewhat darker conditions then that would confirm the widespread validity of the project," Falkgrim says.

      "The overall task seems simple — putting solar panels on a truck and plugging it into the electrical system. But it’s a bit of a wild and crazy idea because it comes with a lot of new hardware and software systemisation and development to make it safe to handle the transfer of power, and to handle faults."

      The plug-in hybrid truck/ tractor is connected to a trailer with additional batteries, which store 200kWh and act as a "power bank" for the truck, he explains.

      "The project could have repercussions for the energy industry. If you scale up the solution you could have thousands of vehicles connected to the grid, so this could have implications for buying and selling electricity to and from the grid."

      Though a commercial application for the truck is some years away, Falkgrim is excited about the long-term prospects of solar-cell technology.

      "The data we already have says that solar panels do contribute significantly to the energy you’re getting for the truck, and it’s one part of the overall puzzle when it comes to decarbonised transport. The first thing we need to find out is ‘does this make sense?’ And to answer that: yes, it’s good enough to work on the scale that we are doing now."

      A handful of automotive manufacturers see a bright future for solar-powered vehicles, including Netherlands-based Lightyear, which aims to launch the Lightyear 2 solar sedan in 2025 for about $40,000. Another is California’s Aptera Motors which is working on a three-wheeled two-seater.

      The Scania truck could have a sun-powered range of up to 10,000km per year.


    Other Articles - International


       Home  -  Feedback  -  Contact Us  -  Safe Sender  -  About Energy Central   
    Copyright © 1996-2023 by CyberTech, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Energy Central® and Energy Central Professional® are registered trademarks of CyberTech, Incorporated. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for trading purposes. CyberTech does not warrant that the information or services of Energy Central will meet any specific requirements; nor will it be error free or uninterrupted; nor shall CyberTech be liable for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages (including lost data, information or profits) sustained or incurred in connection with the use of, operation of, or inability to use Energy Central. Other terms of use may apply. Membership information is confidential and subject to our privacy agreement.