Hyundai, Scania and Meritor push for electric

Test vehicles, glider investments and drivetrains all in the mix

Hyundai, Scania and Meritor push for electric
Asko’s fuel-cell Scania G 350


Electric propulsion developments in the commercial vehicles space roll on in January with Scania and Hyundai and Kia, along with Meritor to the fore with fuel cell and battery options used.

In Norway, wholesaler Asko now has four hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric Scania G 350 rigid trucks on the road for testing.

The truckmaker is keeping its electric propulsion choices open and appears as pragmatic within modes as it is between them.

"Scania is working with its electrification roadmap in the same way as with the combustion-engine-technology; a multi-facetted approach with a broad range of solutions," it says, noting that for it, "there is no one-size-fits-all-universal solution within electrification of heavy commercial vehicles".

"The company has researched and developed different kinds of bio-fuelled hybrid-electric technologies, as well as fully-electric vehicles.

"Scania’s battery electric bus was launched in 2019 and we also work with electric vehicles that can be charged via electrified roads or through hydrogen-powered fuel cells as is the case with Asko."


• Gross Vehicle Weight: 26+1 tonnes

• Powertrain: 290 kW electric machine/210 kW continuous output, 2-speed transmission, 2200 Nm peak torque

• Installed battery capacity: 56 kWh Li-ion

• On-board charger: 22 kW AC with CCS charging interface

• Fuel cell: 90 kW PEFC delivered from a third party

• Hydrogen storage: 33 kg @350 bar

• Estimated range: 400km-500km.

A Scania spokesperson in Australia notes that any appearance of such vehicles locally will be in the longer term.

Hyundai, Kia and Arrival

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have announced a strategic investment of US$110 million (A$161 million) in a new partnership with UK-based electric vehicle start-up Arrival.

The Korean pair aims to introduce competitively priced small and medium-sized electric vans and other products for logistics, on-demand ride-hailing and shuttle service companies.

Arrival’s scalable electric platform can be adapted for multiple vehicle categories and types which Arrival, Hyundai and Kia will explore for the development of a range of Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV).

Read how Kenworth and Dana have linked on electric powertrains

The partnership with Arrival will help Hyundai and Kia meet the rapidly growing demand in Europe for eco-friendly commercial vehicles, and accelerate the brands’ transformation from car makers to clean-mobility providers, the Koreans say.

Hyundai Motor Group president Albert Biermann and Arrival CEO Denis Sverdlov signed a contract for investment and the joint development of electric vehicles at the headquarters of Hyundai and Kia in Seoul.

The Korean investment will be an 80-20 percentage split in favour of Hyundai.

"The eco-friendly vehicle market in Europe is expected to grow rapidly due to the introduction of further environmental regulations," Biermann says.

"Through the joint development of electric commercial vehicles with Arrival, we will be able to gain a competitive advantage and progressively establish our leadership in the global eco-friendly vehicle market, with Europe at the forefront."

Hyundai and Kia to use Arrival’s modular, scalable ‘skateboard’ EV platform

Founded in 2015, Arrival has production plants and R&D centres in the US, Germany, Tel Aviv, Russia and the UK.

The company’s strength lies in its ‘skateboard’ vehicle platform with a modular component structure, a cost-effective base which incorporates a battery pack, electric motor and driveline components.

 "Arrival has created a game changing product category – Generation 2 electric vehicles," Sverdlov says.

Hyundai and KIA make world-class vehicles with uncompromising quality.

"This strategic partnership will empower our companies to scale Generation 2 Electric Vehicles globally."

Fully-scalable to accommodate multiple vehicle types, the platform can be used to accelerate vehicle development to meet diverse customer needs.

Arrival is presently carrying out pilot projects with multiple logistics companies in Europe using cargo vans manufactured with the technology.

From 2021, the EU will introduce the world’s most stringent vehicle emission regulations, limiting each automaker’s fleet-wide average CO2 emissions by around 27 per cent, from 130 g/km to 95 g/km.


And in the US, Meritor has acquired all the outstanding common shares of electric-drive firm Transportation Power, Inc. (TransPower).

"We are excited to welcome TransPower to the Meritor family as we continue providing our customers with sophisticated electric drivetrain solutions," Meritor CEO and president Jay Craig says.

"This acquisition enables us to further position the company as a premier supplier of electrification technologies for commercial vehicles."

With the addition of TransPower's product portfolio, Meritor advances its M2022 priorities through increased investment in next-generation technologies. It also further establishes the value of Meritor's Blue Horizon brand, which represents the company's emerging platform of advanced technologies centred on electrification.

TransPower, a California-based company, supplies integrated drive systems, full electric truck solutions and energy-storage subsystems to major manufacturers of trucks, school buses, refuse vehicles and terminal tractors. The company has been focused exclusively on developing electrical drive solutions since its inception in 2010.


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