Scania eyes next generation internal combustion engine


Erixon notes plans are in development stage for Traton Group effort

Scania eyes next generation internal combustion engine
Claes Erixon and Mikael Jansson

 

Scania executive vice president and head of research and development Claes Erixon is expected to discuss cutting edge alternatives to established propulsion systems, so eyebrows are raised when he talks of a new internal combustion engine.

Details are scarce as it is still early days but the move is something of an antidote to the understandable hype surrounding new technology and alternative fuels.

While Erixon makes plain that the formation of new parent company Traton Group will see often competing brands such as Scania and MAN unchanged, a united effort will be expected in developing a new conventionally powered truck engine.

His company remains very focused on lowering emissions, not least due to European Union rules starting in January that  require heavy duty vehicle manufacturers in the EU to register a Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) value.

"This value is generated through the VECTO simulation tool that calculates the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from a complete truck and trailer combination or a rigid truck with a standard box," Scania HQ notes.

But impetus for the new engine will flow through the Traton Goup.

"What we do share, what we want to share, is the costs for development, as for example, the next generation internal combustion engine powertrain," Erixon says.

"There will be a next generation conventional powertrain as well, because we will produce many more combustion engines before we go electric.

"We really need to stay on top of the competition and we will take, in the next step.

"Some of our competitors will surprised by our performance improvements."


Read about the launch of the XT model for bulk haulage work, here


Part of this particular effort is due to company research projections on cost of ownership comparisons between electrical and conventional propulsion when weighing up the accepted high speed of battery development.

Parity is seen by 2025, while Scania Group president and CEO Henrik Henriksson nominated 2050, and possible as early as 2030, for fossil-free transport globally.

Still on engines, Erixon is confident the company is getting past its V8 supply issues.

Strike action at an engine-block supplier cause issues mid-year, a worry for Jansson as about half of his demand here is for the big banger.

"With a booming market, it was a bit tough," he says.

Other countries where the pain was felt include New Zealand, Norway and Italy, where cresting mountain passes are a pressing need.

Meanwhile, testing is also underway on biodiesel and hybrid systems in Australia.

"The hybrid truck is perfect for those who want to have the range and then want to run zero emission and the last mile for the customer," Erixon says.

"Of course, it saves fuel. In a lot of city applications we see a lot of start and stop."

With the XT in Australia, the emphasis is on customer specification and ownership support, an effort underlined by the effort put into forming a network of preferred bodybuilders and the placement of its technicians.

"I prefer that the customer describes the specification and we design the truck to meet that specification," Erixon says.

"From my point of view, I would like our customers in Australia planning ahead so they can get exactly what they want even though it takes more weeks" he adds, though he concedes that this is easier for larger customer firms than some  of the smaller ones.

The network and customer support is crucial to Scania’s local strategy.

Bringing his international parts supply knowhow to bear on the issue, Jansson notes the company is examining options for a dedicated Sydney workshop, following the recent commissioning of one at an independent dealer in Wagga Wagga, where its bays have doubled to six.

 

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