SCA, together with Scania, has developed the world’s first electric timber truck. According to SCA, the ultimate goal of the project is to make an entirely fossil-free value chain.
“We have come a long way in industrial processes, which are already 96 percent fossil-free. We are very pleased that we together with Scania can break new ground to make the heaviest transports fossil-free,” says Hans Djurberg, head of sustainability at SCA.
“The 80-tonne battery-powered timber truck shows that even really heavy transport can be electrified. The partnership with SCA is an early show of what is possible and is a clear signal that it is possible to electrify even heavy transport. A change of pace is needed to make Sweden fossil-free in time and meet the goal of the Paris Agreement,” says Fredrik Allard, head of e-mobility at Scania. “An electric timber truck is a symbol of something pretty cool. Shipping of timber has been talked about as something that might never be possible to electrify. The development in recent years and what we are now presenting together with SCA shows how fast the development is taking place both in terms of vehicles and batteries.”
According to SCA, the intention is that the vehicle will transport timber on the stretch between SCA’s timber terminal in Gimonäs and the paper mill in Obbola outside Umeå.
SCA Obbola claims its paper mill production process to be virtually fossil-free, so the intention of the new vehicle is to reduce the existing fossil elements in the transportation of raw material to the mill.
The electric timber truck is being test-driven and continuously studied by the research institute Skogforsk to collect relevant data that can form the basis for comparisons with conventional diesel-powered timber transports.
After the test-drive process, the plan is for it to be included in SCA’s regular operations.
High climate ambitions
“This is a first concrete step towards electric propulsion in the most difficult part of the landborne transport chain, which is extremely important. This is a global challenge that many have wrestled with and now we are showing together with an innovative partner, Scania, that Swedish industry can drive sustainability development,” says Hans Djurberg. “Sustainability and reduced carbon dioxide emissions are important for society as a whole, which means that the business is also dependent on us driving development. Our forests and forest products have created enormous climate benefits for a long period of time and our industries are very climate-efficient, which is why it is also obvious with high climate ambitions for our transports.”
The studies carried out during the test-drive process will, among other things, compare energy consumption, productivity and costs against existing vehicles and map out what would be required for a broad implementation of electric timber trucks across the country.
Believing in electrification
Jörgen Bendz, Industrial Supply Manager at SCA, notes that the ability to electrify the heaviest transports has great potential for the company’s sustainability work.
“We have worked hard and successfully towards fossil-free energy in our industries and we also have a significant part of our transports by rail, so we have been very keen to find a fossil-free solution for the heavy transport with raw material that goes to the industry by truck,” says Jörgen Bendz. “We hope and believe that electric timber trucks over time can become the key to solving this challenge.”