Electric timber trucks

SCA and Scania are working together to develop electric timber truck for the forestry. The first vehicle came 2022 and transports timber between SCA’s terminal in Gimonäs and the paper mill in Obbola and the second truck will arrive in fall 2024 and be driven in the forest. For SCA, thi sis important steps towards sustainable transport solution and a fossil-free society.

To further strengthen the sustainable value chain, SCA and Scania developed the world's first electric timber truck in 2022. SCA's goal is to make the entire value chain fossil-free. 

Since SCA's unique electric timber truck was put into operation in June 2022, it has covered a distance of 46,000 kilometers, equivalent to more than one lap around the globe. Over a year of operation, the electric timber truck contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 55,000 kg per year.The electric timber truck can be driven with a total weight of 64 tonnes on public roads and 80 tonnes on private roads. 

Next step - in to the forest

In the fall of 2024, SCA takes the next step in sustainable timber transports by inaugurating another electric timber truck from Scania. Unlike the electric timber truck in Umeå, the new truck will be equipped with a crane, which is common for most timber trucks collecting timber in the forest.

"Our new electric timber truck has a better range and will drive to timber storage areas in the forest where it loads the timber for further transport to one of our timber terminals. We expect the truck to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 170 tons per year compared to a regular timber truck," says Anton Ahlinder, Business Developer at Industrial Supply, SCA Skog.

The truck will be owned and operated by a haulage company with whom SCA has a close partnership.

"We support the haulage company, but they will be the owners of the truck. We do the same with our conventional timber transports, and we want more haulage companies to dare to transition to electric vehicles when it becomes possible," says Anton.

The exact location where the truck will operate will be announced later. Currently, Scania is manufacturing the truck, and then they will conduct some tests on it before it is delivered to SCA and the haulage company for inauguration and operation in the fall 2024.

Drive sustainability development

Electrical timber truck

All driving and various tests provide SCA with valuable insights into electric propulsion for heavy transports. 

“This is, as mentioned, a first step towards electric propulsion in heavy road transport, which is incredibly significant. It's exciting that SCA, together with innovative partners, can drive sustainability development, says Mikael Sundelin, manager of Business Development at Industrial Supply, SCA Skog. We also receive inquiries from haulage companies and others who want to learn more about electric propulsion for heavy transports for goods other than timber.”

“Sustainability and reduced carbon dioxide emissions are important for SCA and the entire society. Our forests and forest products have long generated significant climate benefits, and our industries have made considerable progress towards fossil-free operations. Therefore, it is natural for us to have high climate ambitions for our transportation as well, says Susanne Rutqvist, SCA's spokesperson on climate issues.

Important part

For SCA, electrifying road transport is an important part of work to reduce its environmental impact. Every year, SCA transports about 8.5 million cubic metres of wood to industries.

”The cooperation with Scania is an important way for us to jointly find innovative solutions for sustainable transport. By running just one electric truck between Gimonäs and Obbola, we can reduce our carbon emissions by about 55,000 kg per year. We have come a long way in our industrial processes, which are already 96 percent fossil-free. We are very pleased that we together with Scania can break new ground to make the heaviest transports fossil-free," says Hans Djurberg, Head of Sustainability at SCA.”

The electric timber truck will be continuously studied by the research institute Skogforsk to collect relevant data that can form the basis for comparisons with conventional diesel-powered timber transports.

Jörgen Bendz, Industrial Supply Manager at SCA, notes that the ability to electrify the heaviest transports has great potential for the company's sustainability work.

"We have worked hard and successfully towards fossil-free energy in our industries and we also have a significant part of our transports by rail, so we have been very keen to find a fossil-free solution for the heavy transport with raw material that goes to the industry by truck. We hope and believe that electric timber trucks over time can become the key to solving this challenge," says Jörgen Bendz.

Test runs in the forest

electric timber truck in forest

In March 2023, SCA did some test driving with the electric timber truck to the forest in order to transport wood. It is the first time ever that an electric timber truck is being used practically in the forest. The truck is normally driven between Gimonäs wood terminal and Obbola kraftliner mill. SCA wanted to test the electric timber truck in a forest environment and when there was a suitable place at a good distance from Umeå, they saw the possibility of being able to carry out some test runs.

The felling was on forest land in Djäkneböle outside Umeå, where we had felled for a private forest owner. The forest road is a couple of kilometers long and has both a sharper curve and a slight incline, so it felt like a suitable environment to try out the electric timber truck there. It was particularly successful that it was also in a winter climate. The whole route was about six miles round trip, twice as long as the normal trips between the terminal and Obbola.

“It was very good to drive and I didn't experience any major difference even though it was a forest road. The truck drove as quietly and smoothly as usual, even though there was snow and a little ice on the road, says driver Göran Grundberg, who is the owner of Grundberg's trucking company, which drives the electric timber truck for SCA.

In order to continue the development towards large-scale electric transports, the charging infrastructure needs to be reviewed and developed in the areas in which SCA operate.

The project is a part of a national initiative where leading Swedish players have joined forces to accelerate the transition to electrified emission-free heavy transport on our roads. The initiative, lead by CLOSER,receives co-financing from the Vehicle Strategic Research and Innovation (FFI) program through Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration.

Many advantages with the electric timber truck

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Facts and figures

The world's first electric timber truck in action

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