Henriksson highlights sustainable future for Scania


Hybrid propulsion seen as worthy of much more attention by truckmaker

Henriksson highlights sustainable future for Scania
Henrik Henriksson

 

Scania will looking to new technology as it gears up for the competitive battle into the next decade, with fuels at the forefront.

This was the message the Swedish make’s global president and CEO, Henrik Henriksson, brought with him on a rare Australian visit this month.

Henriksson, also in the region to gauge progress with its New Zealand review, emphasises his view that the "very competent and capable" Australian operation has all the pieces in place to advance on gaining market share.

"We need to continue to develop our product range to suit this very demanding markets but I think we have the pieces of the Lego we have in place, it's just a matter of making sure that they fit together and that we tailor-make it to the customer's need," he tells the trucking media.

"But we also see that there is a potential to also work with new technology, both when it comes to new powertrains running on biofuels, to test electrification, hybridisation. The time is right to try to push these new technologies into the market."

In the face of Daimler Trucks North America’s rejection of platooning as a serious option, Scania is unmoved, viewing it as both an environmental and a safety initiative.

"We see that from the trials we're doing in Finland at the moment with platooning I mean the fuel savings are dramatic but also the feedback from the drivers is tremendous," Henriksson says.

"I mean ‘I'm coming back from one day full job and I feel completely much more relaxed and rested.’

"So we don't want to close down those sort of alternatives, we see that there will be businesses cases and different sort of applications for that."

This relies on progress with the varying levels of automation and he argues the case from the company’s data collection base.

"We know from our connected vehicles in Europe and in Asia, also in Australia that a lot of time of our customers is spent standing in queue," Henriksson says.

"And in some countries in the world on a normal day of operation the customers they spend around 30 to 40 minutes in queue.

"So if you sort of regard that instead of having it as driving time, as other work or as resting time, the business gains from having that technology in the vehicle basically would be paid back within a couple of months for operations."

That said, Scania is leery of advancing too far ahead of public opinion and legislative time frames. 


Read about Henriksson’s view on a fossil-free future, here


Henriksson sees Scania’s continued focus on alternative fuels as a strategic and prudent path, insisting that to do otherwise would be a threat to its future, but accepts that the likes of electric propulsion will take longer to realise in Australia.

It is with the hybrid power that Scania has had to re-evaluate the possibilities.

"What we have realised now in the last two years maybe is that maybe there is more potential in hybrid that we thought from the beginning," Henriksson says.

He underlines the company view that alternative fuels, escpecially biofuels that can reduce harmful emissions by 80 per cent, as a necessary bridging solution towards full electric propulsion, particularly in Australia with its challenging topography.

The company recently announced its partnership with a local bioethanol producer and has ongoing experience in Britain with the Waitrose grocery group and its partners and in Brazil with biofuel producer Clariant but is keen to strengthen this supply chain’s sustainability to withstand the sort of scrutiny that is never applied to fossil fuels.

Scania is also keen on tax differentiation that recognises the environmental and social gains biofuels bring.

 

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