The Swedish truck and bus manufacturer Scania has been part of the Volkswagen Group since July 2008, the date of the official acquisition of the majority voting stake. However, the two companies have been partners for much longer than that: ever since 1948, when exclusive importer Scania-Vabis brought the first four VW Beetles to Sweden. Then as now, the Volkswagen Group and its ninth brand both had a mission to develop cutting-edge vehicles for their customers – vehicles that are also pioneers when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
Scania has for many years been considered to be the most profitable premium brand in the commercial vehicles business. This champion of Swedish industry extends and complements the Volkswagen Group’s portfolio of vehicles in the heavy commercial vehicles segment with its wide range of trucks weighing 16 tons and more, as well as large buses and coaches. But Scania is also active in the market for powerful engines for ships, power plants and other industrial applications. In addition to Western Europe, the primary sales market where it generates more than half of its sales revenue, products made by the Scandinavian technology leader are exported to markets around the world – to Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.
Scania is a pioneer in particular in the development of heavy vehicles and engines that help conserve the environment and natural resources: since 2007, all Scania models have complied with the strict Euro 5 emission standards for newly registered trucks and buses that come into force in October 2009. The engineers at Scania’s Research and Expertise center in Södertälje near Stockholm achieved this in their own, very special way: not through developmental leaps once in a while, but through the continuity they apply to improving all components that make Scanias the best vehicles for local distribution operations, reliable long-haul trucks, or robust workhorses in difficult terrains.
FOCUSING ON CUSTOMERS
This is what helps researchers and developers at the headquarters in Södertälje regularly achieve technological breakthroughs – such as the development of the new engine platform with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). EGR engines recirculate the cooled exhaust gases mixed with intake air to the combustion chamber, thereby ensuring a precisely calculated reduction in the combustion temperature. This in turn reduces nitrous oxide emissions; fine particulate emissions are markedly reduced with the help of the Scania XPI (extra high-pressure injection), a common rail injection system with the highest injection pressures available on the market. The inline engines in the 230 to 480 PS output range easily comply with the Euro 5 emissions targets. No other manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles has been able to comply with Euro 5 without using exhaust gas aftertreatment. Scania also uses SCR technology (selective catalytic reduction) for its powerful engines: an additive is injected into the exhaust gases before they reach the catalytic converter. Scania is continuing to research and develop both EGR and SCR technologies, as they will enable the company to comply with the requirements of the upcoming – and even stricter – Euro 6 emission standards.
Scania is the world’s only manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles that can run on ethanol. Ethanol-powered vehicles have been very popular in Sweden for 20 years: most public transport buses in the capital city of Stockholm are Scania ethanol buses. This alternative fuel is also widely used in cars on Swedish roads.
PIONEER IN ETHANOL TECHNOLOGY
ETHANOL BUSES AND TRUCKS:
Green technology for cities
The first heavy trucks powered by a low-emission ethanol/diesel engine attracted a lot of industry attention in 2008 – and secured a flood of inquiries at Scania from prospective buyers. The engine combines the performance of proven diesel technology with an unprecedented standard of environmental compatibility. Fueled by high-quality ethanol, the new Scania engine emits up to 90 percent less CO2 than conventional diesel engines.
The underlying technology may be new to trucks, but it has been tried and tested in practice: Scania has been producing ethanol-powered city buses since 1989. These have helped improve air quality in major cities in Sweden and Norway, just as they have done in Italy, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China and Australia.
The first ethanol-powered buses started running in Stockholm in 1985. Today, more than 600 ethanol-fueled buses from Scania are in operation throughout Europe.