Scania, Trucks

A Chance to Drive an Electric Scania Semi

A Chance to Drive an Electric Scania Semi

PowerTorque’s European Correspondent, Will Shiers, was given a chance to drive an electric Scania semi 616km from Trysil in Norway to Scania’s hometown of Södertälje in Sweden, and the temperature was -27 degrees!

Norway is embracing electric trucks like no other European country, and that’s because they seem to make sense here, reckons Will. The country produces almost entirely renewable electricity, which equates to a typical well-to-wheel CO2 reduction of 99 per cent when compared with diesel. In contrast, the European average reduction is just 55 per cent. Also working in Norway’s favour is relatively cheap electricity, and expensive diesel.

That said, I’m noticing a constant stream of V8-powered Scania 25.25m, 60-tonne logging trucks travelling in the opposite direction. Apparently 50 per cent of everything the truck maker sells in Norway has a V8 under the cab. I sense it’s going to be a long time until these have switched to electricity.

My first stop is an Ionity public truck charger on the Norwegian side of the Norway/Sweden border, some 190km from the starting point. This will be a chance to use the Scania Charging Access card I’ve been issued with. It works like a fuel card and gives access to 60-plus European truck-friendly charging points.

However, this site has narrow bays, and is far better suited to cars. Not helping access is a thick ridge of snow around its perimeter, left by a passing snowplough. It takes 30 minutes, but I finally manage to get the semi onto a bay, only to trip the charger as soon as I plug the truck in. The place is unmanned, and there’s nobody to advise me. Things don’t improve when I trip a second charger. In frustration I am forced to drop the trailer nearby and return with the solo prime mover.

This time it charges without any issues, and with a delivery rate of 350kW, it takes just 48 minutes to replenish the batteries from 34 per cent to 100 per cent. I’m impressed that charging takes pretty much the same time as my legal 45-minute break, but less enthused by the total lack of facilities, not even a toilet.

With yellow snow in my mirrors, I cross the border into Sweden, and put Scania dealer Lecab Lastbilar’s address into the sat-nav. It’s based in the city of Karlstad, some 130km away. Despite the temperature being -18, and me using the cab heater, heated seats, headlights, radio and mood lighting, the truck returns a respectable consumption rate of 1.39kW per km, meaning I have 65 per cent charge left when I arrive.

This time the charging process goes smoothly, and as I head to a nearby hotel, I can see on the app that it takes just over an hour to recharge at a rate of 197kW. Knowing that I’ll be setting off on the final leg at 8am the next morning, I set the battery conditioning and cab heater to turn on at 6.30am.

 

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