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Scania announces next generation zero-emissions bus programme for Australia

Scania Australia has followed up its recent maiden electric bus delivery in Australia with the announcement of a new battery electric bus generation

Scania Australia has announced it will begin importing its new generation zero-emissions fully electric K-series low entry bus chassis within the next 12 months, following the release of the updated technology in Europe recently.

“We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the first of our 3rd generation K-series Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) chassis,” Scania Australia bus and power solutions director of sales Julian Gurney says.

“The new generation zero-emissions chassis offers a revised E-Machine, Scania’s modular designed system with 2-speed gearbox and R 660 drive axle, and includes a high degree of chassis component sharing with the diesel-powered versions of our New Bus Generation K-series chassis.

“The front rigid axle is identical to those of the diesel chassis, as is the rear drivetrain module, powered by the E-Machine and gearbox. A robust engine subframe reduces noise and vibrations traveling through the vehicle, contributing to a smoother and quieter passenger experience.

“Four new generation battery packs power the third generation K-series BEV chassis, while three batteries are strategically placed on the roof, with one in the engine bay, to optimise weight distribution and passenger capacity.”

The revised E-Machine delivers a maximum 300 kW at 1400 rpm (with a maximum of
5400 Nm). Continuous power is 230 kW at 1750 rpm (with 3400 Nm) for up to 30 minutes. Range is expected to be around 400 km, depending on specification and usage profile.

Scania says the new K-series low entry 4×2 chassis combines increased energy efficiency with a raft of new state-of-the-art electronic safety systems as well as the all-new, all-digital ‘Smart Dash’ driver display that will debut in the third generation K-series BEV chassis.

Image: Scania Australia

“Our new third generation K-series heavy-duty BEV chassis is perfect for all weather roads, particularly in urban areas and on intercity routes, with the R 660 rear axle delivering good operating economy and a long service life,” Gurney says.

“The new chassis boasts improved body builder adaptation flexibility, providing options to customise the chassis to specific requirements, while intelligent drivetrain component positioning simplifies maintenance, reducing costs and improving uptime.”

The new battery packs installed on the third generation K-series BEVs will be assembled into modules at a new battery factory just completed next door to the main Scania vehicle assembly plant in Sweden.

The major share of battery cells will be sourced from Northvolt’s battery cell factory in northern Sweden. Scania says sourcing cells from a Swedish supplier benefits the Life Cycle Assessment of the batteries. Sweden has a low carbon intensity in its electricity grid, resulting in a significantly smaller environmental footprint for the cells compared to sourcing them from a country with high carbon intensity in its electricity grid.

“Northvolt shares our commitment to sustainable production, ethical sourcing, recycling and the use of renewable energy, and this will support Scania in having a responsible supply chain,” Gurney says.

“The new battery facility, opened in September 2023, enables us to adhere to our modular system and simultaneously oversee our sustainability production targets, aligning with our Science-based objectives.”

The new Scania third generation K-series BEV chassis will come complete with a full range of Advanced Driver Assistance functions, as part of Scania’s drive to create a safer road environment.

“We delivered our first zero-emissions city bus to the Department for Infrastructure and Transport in South Australia late in 2023, with nine further chassis now scheduled to be built to that first specification during 2024,” Gurney says.

“We expect to receive our first supply of the third generation K-series BEV chassis by mid-year, which will further advance our capacity to meet the needs of bus operators around Australia keen to shift towards a zero-tailpipe transport system.”

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