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Södra deploys battery-electric woodchip truck

Södra deploys battery-electric woodchip truck
Södra will commence road trials of a Scania 45R battery electric woodchip truck in southern Sweden (photo courtesy Scania).

Swedish forest owners association Södra has announced a decision to invest in a battery-electric long-haul truck in its daily logistics chain for transporting woodchips. Using self-produced, fossil-free electricity to charge the woodchip truck, the environmental footprint from these transport operations will be dramatically reduced. To be supplied by Scania, the electric woodchip truck represents a milestone in Södra’s long-term goal of transitioning to fossil-free transportation.

Today, road transport plays a key role in the Swedish forest industry. As one of the largest buyers of transport services, Södra has long strived to make its logistics more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Truck transport accounts for about 5 percent of Södra’s fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when indirect emissions are included. By introducing this long-haul truck to transport woodchips in Blekinge and eastern Småland, Södra is taking an important step towards a fossil-free future

Delivery of the Scania battery-electric woodchip truck is expected towards the end of 2024 and the truck will be tested in real-life conditions during the 2025–2027 period.

The aim is that the truck will travel about 100,000 km per year, corresponding to 400 km per day.

Expand charging infrastructure

Meanwhile, to facilitate charging during normal operations, the plan is to extensively expand the charging infrastructure at Södra’s mills in Mörrum, Mönsterås, Orrefors, and Långasjö over the coming year.

On completion of the test program, the pilot project will be evaluated to formulate a clear plan for the large-scale electrification of Södra’s entire vehicle fleet.

This battery-electric woodchip truck is an exciting milestone in our efforts to electrify the truck fleet, not least because it is being deployed directly in our operations as part of our day-to-day transport operations. The project will teach us a great deal while contributing to Södra’s overall goal of net zero emissions by 2040. I am convinced that the test will also generate valuable insights that the entire industry can benefit from in the future, said Henrik Brodin, Project Manager for A Fossil-Free Södra.

Part of the TREE project

The pilot project is part of the TREE project, an initiative coordinated by the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk).

The overarching objective of the project is to contribute to ensuring that battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) account for 50 percent of new truck sales in the forestry industry by 2030.

In addition to Södra, 20 partners are participating in this ambitious initiative, including other forest companies, logistics companies, haulage companies, charging infrastructure companies, technology companies, and universities.

The project will answer important questions regarding route optimization and charging infrastructure, all knowledge that can help Södra and its contract haulers reduce costs and environmental footprint across the value chain.

A Scania 45R

The battery-electric woodchip truck is a Scania 45R with a load capacity of up to 64 tonnes. With an estimated range of 250 to 300 km when deployed in Södra’s operations, it is ideal for regional transport operations in eastern Småland.

The truck has three integrated electric motors providing a continuous power output level equivalent to 610 hp and it comes equipped with 624 kWh of batteries installed.

The truck has a charging capability of 375 kW. This means the charging time is minimized, usually around one hour under normal operations. The electric woodchip truck will be introduced into regular route planning and operate like the rest of Södra’s truck fleet.

A major shift to fossil-free electrified road transport is underway. It will be interesting to see how the electric woodchip truck performs once integrated into Södra’s daily production operations, said Patrik Svanberg at Scania Sverige.

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