Heavy truck manufacturer Scania and emerging EV battery powerhouse Northvolt have developed a battery for electric trucks that they say will last as long as the vehicles themselves – about 1.5 million miles.
The lithium-ion battery is the product of a five-year partnership between the two Swedish companies that began in 2017.At the time, Scania was looking for more robust, cost-efficient and sustainable battery cells for its heavy trucks and buses – and Northvolt was ready to deliver.
“Northvolt’s mission to build the world’s greenest batteries perfectly matched Scania’s goal to drive the shift to sustainable transport,” Scania CEO Christian Levin said in a statement.
The lithium-ion cell was produced at Northvolt’s gigafactory in Ett in northern Sweden opened last year and runs entirely on renewable hydropower and wind energy. As a result, the partners estimate that the battery has a carbon footprint of about one-third that of a comparable industry equivalent.
The cell’s long life also makes it one of the most durable and long-lasting batteries in the electric vehicle industry. Most EV batteries on the market today are single estimated to last between 150,000 and 300,000 km.
“At the start of this collaboration, Northvolt and Scania agreed on an ambitious timeline for developing a high-performance battery cell that would enable their plans to electrify heavy transport,” said Peter Carlsson, CEO and co-founder of Northvolt. “It is a great achievement for all involved to have gone through extensive development and validation phases and are now delivering cells from Northvolt Ett that exceed our initial expectations.”
Northvolt will soon start mass production of the truck batteries at its gigafactory in Ett. In the coming years, Northvolt wants to increase the capacity at Ett to 60 GWh to serve customers such as Volkswagen, BMW, Volvo and of course Scania.
In addition scania will open a new battery factory in Södertälje, Sweden, next year, where Northvolt’s battery cells will be assembled into battery packs for the start of heavy-duty electric truck production. The development of sustainable batteries is seen as an important milestone in the electrification of the company roadmapwhich aims to have electric vehicles account for 50% of sales by 2030.
Other electric vehicle manufacturers include Tesla, which is developing an electric semi-truck with the imaginative name of ‘Tesla Semi’, and Volvo, which is already distributing its electric trucks to customers across Europe. Swedish start-up Einride, considered a competitor to the Tesla Semi, the technology is taking things a step further with its plans to roll out fully autonomous electric trucks.
While only electric heavy vehicles made last year 0.6% of turnover in Europe increased, accounting firm PWC predicts that they will account for a third of all truck sales in Europe by 2030, and 70% by 2035, due to stricter regulations for fossil fuel vehicles and falling costs of cleaner alternatives.