Scania starts tests of truck fitted with solar panels

Solar panels are fitted to the trailer Solar panels are fitted to the trailer

Scania has revealed that it is currently testing a truck on UK roads which uses solar panels to help power the vehicle.

The testing is part of a two-year collaboration with Uppsala University, Eksjö Maskin & Truck, Midsummer, Ernsts Express and Dalakraft.

The rig consists of a 560 hp plug-in hybrid truck paired with an 18-metre trailer which is fitted with 100 square metres of lightweight solar panels.

The truck will be operated on behalf of Scania by haulage company Ernsts Express.

Lars Evertsson, CEO at Ernsts Express, said: “The whole industry is facing big challenges in general, especially with the cost of fuels. Electrification from renewable electricity is the future.”

The panel array includes perovskite solar cells from Midsummer. These are reported to deliver double the energy generation of traditional solar cells.

Power is transferred to onboard battery packs Power is transferred to onboard battery packs

These produce a maximum efficiency of 13.2 kWp (kilowatt peak), which will help to recharge the 300 kWh total of battery packs, with 100 kWh on the truck and 200 kWh on the trailer.

Erik Olsson, head of Corporate Development at Midsummer, said: “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. We want to be a partner to count on, and that is enabled by this ground-breaking project.”

It is put forward that when operating in Sweden, the solar panels could provide 5000 km of range annually. In countries like Spain, which has more sunshine, that could potentially be doubled.

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