Scania tests hybrid truck with solar panel trailer

The vehicle could reduce emissions and sell excess power.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The Scania hybrid truck.jpg
The Scania hybrid truck.


Scania, Uppsala University, Eksjö Maskin & Truck, Midsummer, Ernsts Express, and Dalakraft have all been cooperating the last two years to produce a unique plug-in hybrid truck with a solar panel covered trailer. Now, they are testing the vehicle on public roads in Sweden for the first time.

This is according to a press release by Scania published on Thursday.

A sustainable transport system

“Scania’s purpose is to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system. Never before have solar panels been used to generate energy to a truck’s powertrain like we do in this collaboration. This natural energy source can significantly decrease emissions in the transport sector. It is great to be at the forefront in the development of the next generation’s trucks,” said Stas Krupenia, Head of the Research Office at Scania. 

The new vehicle is part of an ongoing research project that seeks to evaluate how many carbon emissions can be spared via the solar panels and how the trucks will interact with the power grid. The initiative saw the development of new, efficient, and lightweight solar panels specifically designed for incorporation in trucks.

These panels equip the new truck with a prolonged driving range of up to 3100 miles (5.000 kilometers) per year in Sweden and more than double that in sunny countries like Spain. The batteries have a total capacity of 300 kWh, 100 kWh of which are placed on the truck and 200 kWh of which are produced from the trailer. The vehicle boasts an engine with 560 horsepower.

Film panels for commercial vehicles

“Our research towards efficient and light solar cells will be truly important, especially when it comes to applying them in future trucks,” said Erik Johansson, Project Manager and Professor of physical chemistry at Uppsala University. 

“Thin film panels are excellent for commercial vehicles.”

“Our solar panels are excellent for applications that make commercial vehicles sustainable. We see great potential to decrease the emissions from heavy vehicles with electrification. Electricity generated by solar panels will save fuel and carbon emissions,” further added Erik Olsson, Head of Corporate Development, Midsummer.

The truck, if approved and put into mass production. will help deter companies from using expensive and polluting fuels. 

”The fuel is presently an increasing cost for haulage companies, and everything we can contribute with to lower this cost will benefit the society long-term,” said Daniel Sandh, CEO Eksjö Maskin & Truck.

The project also has the potential to see the trucks sell the surplus of energy produced. 

"We thought we would be able to buy the trucks surplus, unfortunately that is not possible at the moment. But the solar cells becoming part of the truck's energy supply is fantastic. As an electricity trading company, we see that all renewable energy sources are needed to cope with the energy transition," said Sverker Ericsson, Electrical Trade Engineer at Dalakraft.

Testing for the truck will be undertaken by haulage company Ernsts Express AB. 

“The whole industry is facing big challenges in general, and with fuel in particular. Electrification from renewable electricity is the future. It makes this project even greater for the green haulage company to be a part of,” said Lars Evertsson, CEO Ernsts Express.

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