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Scania prepares for 2024 following tech milestone

The recent delivery of Scania’s first Australian fully electric route bus is set to kickstart another eventful year for the major bus and coach brand

After another successful year for international bus and coach powerhouse Scania, there’s plenty on the company’s collective plate heading into 2024.

It’ll bring in the new year having recently reached a milestone in its technological capabilities following the release of its first-ever fully electric route bus in Australia.

Delivered to South Australia’s DIT, it left Scania Bus and Power Solutions director of sales Julian Gurney immensely proud.

“This marks a really significant milestone for us as a supplier of premium grade public transport solutions to the Australian bus operator market,” Gurney told ABC.

“We anticipate a growing demand for 100 per cent battery-powered buses, and we stand ready to deliver across Australia.”

The Scania battery electric bus has the range to deliver a fully day’s service around Adelaide for DIT, with power and performance capabilities that eclipse that of Scania’s diesel engine bus models.

As a quiet and smooth vehicle that provides passengers with a more pleasant transport experience, Scania has supported the new-age vehicle with its own service network and significant parts holding to give customers an unassailable advantage.

“Not only do we have highly trained technicians across the country, but they have undergone battery electric vehicle training to ensure a high level of uptime for the new technology,” Gurney says.

“In addition, our very well-established replacement parts supply systems will ensure there are no bottlenecks delaying the return to service of our BEV buses, just as with our diesel or electric-hybrid buses.”

As a known and trusted brand that has served Australian operators from the largest route bus fleets down to the smallest family-owned outfits over the past 40 years, Scania is ready to continue meeting the needs of the local market.

Its parent company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into alternative fuel solutions while making headway with battery electric buses, having just recently unveiled a significant step forward in Europe that will result in greater range and in-service convenience when it reaches Australian shores.

“In the meantime, the Scania electric-hybrid bus platform has been available locally for four years, making inroads within the route bus market due to its ability to drive in silent mode when approaching and departing bus stops,” Gurney says.

“Its fuel efficiency levels also deliver savings of around 25 per cent on average to operators without needing to invest in charging infrastructure, with the electric-hybrid technology being one of Scania’s more popular powertrain options when it comes to transitioning the bus and coach industry towards cleaner operations.”

Scania has also increased the number of coaches arriving in Australia that run on B100 biodiesel, once again removing the need for significant infrastructure investments from local operators.

Gurney says Scania considers the chance to run engines on up to B100 to be a major opportunity for operators to take a huge step forward in reducing CO2 emissions.

“Biodiesel makes sense on many levels – there’s barely a performance or operational deficit to mineral diesel, plus biodiesel is manufactured in Australia, enhancing our fuel self-sufficiency and security profile,” Gurney says.

“Biodiesel allows operators to maintain an identical level of utilisation for their vehicles, and if biodiesel fuel is not available for refuelling at a destination, they can simply fill up with mineral diesel.”

All of these technology updates follow Scania’s adoption of its New Bus Generation chassis and powertrain in 2022. The latest model was introduced with a comprehensive array of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that are now being specified by operators across the country.

Gurney says these systems facilitate a safer working environment for drivers while also enhancing the safety of patrons. Alongside Scania’s vulnerable road user safety systems that keep an eye open for cyclists and pedestrians, Scania’s safety features are quickly becoming very popular among Australian bus and coach operators.

The final significant change that has come with the Scania New Bus Generation and has made the brand’s vehicles an attractive option moving forward is the introduction of a completely new and easy to use electro-pneumatic park brake.

Coming with multiple built-in safety features, such as removing the possibility of bus roll-away, Gurney says this addition signals good news for all bus operators and drivers around the country.

“We’ll continue our safety innovation journey at Scania, adding safety systems as they become available from the factory,” Gurney says.

“Our goal is to ensure that all drivers, passengers and road users are as well protected as possible, using all the technology at our disposal.”

What to look forward to in 2024

In 2024, Scania will continue rolling out its 100 per cent battery electric buses for customers while still fulfilling biodiesel fuelled vehicle orders. The Scania New Bus Generation chassis, which comes with a new generation dashboard, will also find its stride as more orders continue to come across Australia.

Gurney says further variations on the New Bus Generation chassis will be made available in Australia, filling in some of the niches that the previous generation chassis provided.

During 2024, further supplies of the fully imported 370 hp Scania Touring will continue to arrive, as well as versions powered by 360 hp motors.

These vehicles, which are Scania from bumper to bumper, will be offered with a choice of Scania Opticruise manual automated gear changing or a full fluid ZF automatic six-speed.

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