Scania sees 'fossil free' road transport possible by 2050

But report insists foundations must be in place in seven years' time

Scania sees 'fossil free' road transport possible by 2050
Scania has unveiled a new 410hp bioethanol engine


A commercial road transport industry free of fossil fuels and related products, in line with the time-frame of the Paris Agreement, is entirely possible according to a Scania report.

The report outlines analysis undertaken by Scania and reviewed by an external academic panel, showing that several pathways can lead to phasing out carbon emissions.

Research that went into Achieving fossil free commercial transport by 2050 examined long haulage, distribution and city bus operations, across four countries: Sweden, Germany, China and the US.

"Reaching zero CO2 emissions in our sector in the timeframe of the Paris Agreement is attainable but will call for change at an unprecedented high speed, and for serious and joint private and public sector commitment," Scania president and CEO Henrik Henriksson says.

"We can achieve more than 20 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by working even smarter in the current transport systems, for example through improved routing and better load management.

"On top of that, we see several fuel and powertrain pathways to a fossil-free future. Biofuels offer the fastest CO2 emissions reductions and electrification is the most cost-effective."

Scania highlights that in order to reach the goal of fossil-free by 2050, infrastructure changes and technology adoption achievements have to be met by 2025.

An average global growth rate of new fossil-free powertrain technologies of at least 5 to 10 percentage points per year will be required to remain on track, and full sales penetration will need to be achieved by 2040.

Key conclusions

  • Smarter logistics: Carbon emissions can be cut by more than 20 percent by optimising systems, for example improving routing and load management. The remainder can be reached with alternative powertrains and fuels
  • Electrification: Battery electric vehicle growth constitutes the most efficient, quickest and cost-effective pathway in countries with the infrastructure potential to provide universal charging systems and non-fossil energy. Full-scale electrification will require significant infrastructure investment relative to the present situation. In return, operating expenses are 40 percent lower than for heavy diesel vehicles. Electric highways for long-haulage transportation can accelerate electrification, particularly in the coming decade when the cost of battery costs is expected to remain high
  • Biofuel: Biofuels will initially offer an effective and viable pathway, taking advantage of traditional combustion engine technology. The technology and fuels are both available here and now. With maximum possible use of globally available biofuel supply, biofuel-based combustion engines can power one-fifth of vehicles in 2050
  • Fuel Cells: Since fuel cell vehicles will be more expensive, substantial growth for this pathway is expected to be later than for battery electric vehicles. If cost of technology decreases and renewable hydrogen is available and plentiful at low cost, by 2050, fuel cell can be a substantial part of the vehicle fleet.

Bioethanol engine 

Scania, in its push for more sustainable solutions, also this month introduced a 410hp (306kW) bioethanol engine with reduced CO2 emissions of up to 90 per cent.

The Euro 6 engine comes as part of Scania’s New Truck Generation, running on ED95 grade ethanol to reduce NOx and particulate emissions.

"With this engine, we’ve just added another ace in our hand of sustainable solutions, which is the most diverse in the industry," Scania Trucks product director urban Henrik Eng says.

"Regardless of market, industry or application, Scania can always offer at least one additional economically-viable sustainable solution.

"The bioethanol engine is ideal for several applications and will perform excellently in both construction tippers and long-distance tractors."


Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ATN e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook


Trucks For Hire | Forklifts For Hire | Cranes For Hire | Generators For Hire | Transportable Buildings For Hire