While other large truck manufacturing companies are advancing electrification and fuel cells, Scania is exploring a new breakthrough-solar plug-in hybrid trucks. As “Hybrid” pointed out, solar panels cannot power the entire trip of the truck, but they can save 5%-20% of fuel.
Scania hopes to be able to commercialize it in mass production. The truck provides an 18-meter (59-foot) trailer with 140 square meters (1500 square feet) of solar panels on the roof and sides. The Swedish transport company Ernst Express paired trucks with Scania plug-in hybrid tractors and used it in daily operations to test its efficacy.
According to Scania, based on preliminary assessments, solar trucks can save 5-10% of fuel during operations in the spring and autumn in Sweden. The company admits that the Swedish winter does not produce enough sunlight to make solar charging feasible, but he believes that the system can also be used in sunny places. The company said that if the device is used in southern Spain, its fuel-saving benefits may be doubled.
Scania stated that when operating in Sweden, the truck can generate 14,000 kWh of electricity per year. Its collaboration with Ernst will test whether the trailer can effectively generate enough energy to feed back to the grid when the battery is full and the truck is parked.