Swedish truck manufacturer Scania has unveiled its new generation of hybrid trucks, which are offered as full hybrids (HEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV). The latter now come to market with two e-machines contributing 230 kW continuous and 290 kW peak power respectively.
The new generation of semi-electric trucks with a gross vehicle weight of up to 36 tonnes (in 4×2, 6×2 or 6×2*4 configurations) can be equipped with different drive and charging options, according to Scania, and are said to be suitable for various applications such as refrigerated transport, concrete mixers and regional distribution transport. The main difference to the current generation of PHEV: the new truck variants come with doubled electric power: namely 230 instead of 115 kW with 2,100 Nm of torque. The combinable combustion engine has an output of between 164 and 208 kW (engine “DC07”) or between 208 and 268 kW (engine “DC 09”) – both are available in three power levels. This explains the respective power range.
So while we know the latter engine from the current generation of hybrid trucks, Scania now offers the possibility to couple the more powerful electric drive with a smaller combustion engine. The battery on board remains the same at 90 kWh (three packages of 30 kWh each), and the charging time hardly changes either: according to the Swedish company, 35 minutes are needed for a full charge (last year they said “35 minutes from 0 to 80 per cent SoC”). The electric range is still given as 60 kilometres.
The full hybrids get a battery pack with 30 kWh capacity, a 90 kW electric motor and also the option of the smaller DC07 combustion engine. This gives the hybrid trucks a 250-kilogram increase in payload compared to their combustion-only siblings, Scania says.
The new hybrid powertrain is an in-house development. The electric motors are packed into the new system “with essential parts of the latest (2020) Opticruise transmission generation” in one unit. Scania calls this newly developed component a “Gearbox Electric machine”, or GE281 for short. It is said to offer six forward gears, uninterrupted shifting and power take-off (PTO) feeding in electric as well as combustion engine mode.
The new semi-electric vehicles are to be available with cabs in the P, G and L series, and the trucks can be specified as flatbed trucks and tractor-trailers. “With this fourth generation of hybrid trucks from Scania, we have reached a point where hybrids are strong candidates for a variety of applications and operations where sustainability and smart solutions are the main priorities. These new hybrids have the capacity for taking on a multitude of tasks and will come out on top in all kinds of relevant comparisons,” comments Fredrik Allard, Senior Vice President and Head of e-mobility at Scania Sales & Marketing, on the launch of the new part-electric vehicles.
Scania is one of the few major OEMs that have decided to offer heavy commercial vehicles with hybrid drive. Most competitors rely on BEV or FCEV vehicles – or both. “We do believe that these kinds of trucks will eventually be replaced by battery-electric vehicles,” Allard comments. “But until long electric-powered ranges and relevant charging infrastructures are available in all markets, there is definitely a window during this decade for hybrids.”
“With the GE281, we have reached a new level,” the manager continues. “The electric machine equals or often exceeds what the combustion engine can offer, thus creating the opportunity to downsize the internal combustion (ICE) engine and save both fuel and weight. The ICE is only motivated by its capability to offer the range needed when travelling longer legs between different assignments.”
Which is not to say that Scania does not offer all-electric vehicles at all: The Swedish company has had a purely battery-electric model in their portfolio since last year with a truck called Scania BEV. The vehicle has an output of 230 kW (so it has the same two e-motors on board as the next-generation PHEV) and is offered with battery capacities of 165 and 300 kWh for ranges of up to 250 kilometres.
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