Scania NXT hints the future of electric buses and trucks beyond 2030
Scania presents at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm (10-12 June) all-new all-electric concept - the Scania NXT, which is envisioned as fully autonomous vehicle for 2030 and beyond.
The main topic of the concept is modular architecture, which enables use of the platform 24/7 with various modules - for example as a bus during the day and as a truck during night.
"Welcome to the NXT future! Scania’s new battery electric self-driving urban concept vehicle is designed with the flexibility to shift from ferrying commuters to and from work in mornings and evenings, delivering goods during the day and collecting refuse at night.
In a bold display of innovation, Scania’s engineers have taken the company’s DNA – the modular system – to the next level in developing a concept vehicle that can change shape for varying urban assignments."
Scania NXT specs:
- 8m long
- 162 kWh battery pack under the floor, cylindrical cells
- range of 245 km (152 miles)
- the bus version can take 55 passengers (20 seats)
- weight of 8 tonne
More about technical side of the project:
How our engineers designed a modular concept for 2030
What today is Scania’s NXT concept vehicle started with the idea of finding a solution for future transport in cities. A group of Scania engineers rose to the challenge by developing a vehicle that represents a vision of the future.
“When you ask ten different people about the future, you will get ten different answers. At the end of the day, no one knows what will happen in 2030,” says NXT Project Manager Robert Sjödin.
“Throughout this project, we have brought together experts and made many choices that have lead us to this idea of what the future of urban transport could be.”
Interchangeable functional modules
Scania has now revealed the result of its two-year future-oriented project – the eight-metre-long NXT concept vehicle. What sets the concept vehicle apart is the use of separate drive modules, which control and steer the vehicle, and functional modules, which can be used for different applications. Energy is stored in each functional module’s battery unit, meaning that, when transitioning between applications, each functional module can be removed and replaced by another with a fully charged battery.
The bus module has the capacity for 20 seated passengers and 55 in total. Without a driver’s area, the entire interior area can be used to carry passengers.
The bus body consists of one single composite material module, reducing the total vehicle weight to less than eight tonnes.
Batteries under the floor
The cylindrical cell batteries – commercially available today – are placed under the bus floor and have a total capacity of 162 kWh. Combined with the low vehicle weight, simulations show that the vehicle can achieve a range of around 245 kilometres.
“Normally batteries are placed on the roof or in the engine compartment. Instead, we make good use what otherwise would be a dead space,” says Linus Ährlig, NXT Technical Project Manager, Scania. “This placement is also beneficial for weight distribution.”
Solar panels on the roof
For added power, the roof of the concept vehicle has been equipped with a limited number of solar panels. If the entire 20 m2 roof is covered with solar panels, this has the potential to generate nearly 3 kW of added power.
Crab steering mode
Ährlig continues: “Thanks to the hub engines and fully steered wheels, the concept vehicle is extremely agile on city streets. With crab steering mode, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction. Crab steering enables the bus to align perfectly with the pavement for ease of passenger entry and exit.”
The axle distance of six metres is similar that of a standard bus. In contrast, however, the four fully steered wheels permit a turning radius of just 10.5 metres, better than many passenger cars.
Infrared heating system
Innovation has also been the guiding light inside the vehicle. To save on power-consuming heating, NXT has been equipped with an infrared heating system, which, compared with traditional convection heaters, reduces energy requirements by 60 percent. The system is substantially lighter as well. Rather than heating indoor air, the infrared heaters keep passengers warm while also warming seat fabrics for added comfort.
This innovative concept vehicle, developed and built by Scania, is on display at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm, 10–12 June.
Taking urban transport to the NXT level – a new concept from Scania
Welcome to the NXT future! Scania’s new battery electric self-driving urban concept vehicle is designed with the flexibility to shift from ferrying commuters to and from work in mornings and evenings, delivering goods during the day and collecting refuse at night.
In a bold display of innovation, Scania’s engineers have taken the company’s DNA – the modular system – to the next level in developing a concept vehicle that can change shape for varying urban assignments.
Countless cities are now catalysing change in urban transport, driven by the need for lower emissions and less congestion. Technological and infrastructural advances in electric and autonomous vehicles will be key enablers for cities when shifting to a sustainable transport system.
A vision of the future for transport
“NXT is 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,” says Scania’s President and CEO Henrik Henriksson. “NXT is designed for 2030 and beyond while incorporating several cutting-edge features that are already available.”
In NXT, the front and rear drive modules can be fitted to a bus body, a distribution truck body or a refuse collector. The bus module of this innovative concept vehicle is on display at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm, 10–12 June.
Sharing and more flexibility
To achieve real change in the transport ecosystem, vehicles play an important part but more needs to be in place. Significant development of infrastructure is required to cater both for electrified and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the 24/7 flow of people and goods in cities needs to be coherently addressed rather than disparately planned.
Commercial transport in many ways constitutes the pulse of a city. It is how we get to work or school. It is how food reaches shops and restaurants, how medicines are delivered to hospitals and how refuse is collected and removed. Currently, flows in cities are far from being optimised as goods are delivered during the morning rush hour while most people are also on the move. Meanwhile, commercial transport is largely barred from city centres during nights when people are asleep.
Henriksson: “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.”
Higher degree of automation
Public transport has always meant sharing. That now needs to be taken to the next level. With a higher degree of automation, it will be simpler to introduce greater flexibility in public transport.
“This is something new, something very different. Yet flexible design and modularised units lie very much at the core of Scania,” says Robert Sjödin, NXT Project Manager.
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.
“Continuous improvement in small steps has been the hallmark of Scania,” says Sjödin. “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.”