Prime Mover Magazine

Scania unveils new modular system

A concept vehicle from commercial vehicle manufacturer, Scania, has been unveiled overseas.

The new battery electric self-driving urban concept vehicle is designed for multiple functions with a vision of transporting commuters to and from work in the mornings and evenings and delivering goods during the day and collecting waste at night.

Front and rear drive modules, according to the concept, can be fitted to a bus body, a distribution truck body or a refuse collector.

The bus module was exhibited last month at UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm.

Based on its modular system, the NXT as it has been dubbed, will change shape in accordance with its urban assignment while helping to reduce congestion and lower emissions.

Technological and infrastructural advances in electric and autonomous vehicles will be key enablers for cities when shifting to a sustainable transport system the company said in a media release.

Scania President and CEO Henrik Henriksson said the NXT offered a vision of the future for transport in cities.

“Several of these technologies have yet to fully mature but for us it’s been important to actually build a concept vehicle to visibly and technically demonstrate ideas of what is within reach,” he said.

“NXT is designed for 2030 and beyond while incorporating several cutting-edge features that are already available.”

As it looks ahead to the growing trends in infrastructure for electrified and autonomous vehicles, Scania is factoring in the need for people and goods in cities to be coherently addressed rather than disparately planned.

“We at Scania can’t redraw the entire transport system for cities. What we can do is inspire change and that is the idea behind NXT – to think about transport and vehicles in a different and sustainable way,” said Henriksson.

According to Robert Sjödin, NXT Project Manager, the concept is something very different while fitting with Scania's reliance on modularised units.

“Continuous improvement in small steps has been the hallmark of Scania,” he said.

“We are now taking a giant leap into the future. This vehicle will provide invaluable tangible data in our continued development of electrified autonomous vehicles.”

The eight-metre-long bus module is built as one composite unit, substantially reducing weight.

The cylindrical cell batteries are placed under the floor, thereby utilising otherwise dead space as well as contributing to better weight distribution. With the low vehicle weight of less than eight tonnes, the range with present-day batteries is estimated at 245 kilometres.

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