Scania and the race to halve emissions by 2030

By The Exponential Roadmap Initiative | November 19, 2021

Scania AB is a major Swedish manufacturer headquartered in Södertälje, focusing on commercial vehicles—specifically heavy lorries, trucks and buses. It also manufactures diesel engines for heavy vehicles as well as marine and general industrial applications. The Exponential Roadmap Initiative spoke to Scania to find out more about their race to halving emissions by 2030.

At what rate has Scania reduced its emissions up until now, and how has Scania done it?

In Scania’s 2020 Annual and Sustainability Report, the company reported a Scope I and II emissions reduction of 43 percent compared to 2015, and a reduction of Scope III emissions, calculated as CO2 emissions per kilometre, of 4.2 percent during the same period. Emissions from Scania’s products in use by customers are measured as well-to-wheel, meaning that emissions generated in the production of the fuel or electricity are taken into account.

In order to reduce Scope I and II emissions by 50% by 2025, Scania started with one of its core values, Elimination of Waste. This includes phasing out old equipment and appliances for newer, more energy-efficient alternatives, as well as transitioning away from fossil electricity. A couple of concrete examples:

Scania’s cab production facility in Oskarshamn, Sweden, is now completely fossil free as of January 2021. This was achieved by, for example, converting three ovens used in the cab painting process to run on the biofuel RME, which alone reduced Oskarshamn’s climate impact by 60 percent. Additional steps include replacing diesel-powered forklifts with electric forklifts, as well as running internal transport vehicles on HVO biofuel instead of fossil diesel.

The electricity supplied to Scania’s 10 production facilities around the world is 100% fossil free. This was achieved globally in 2020, when, as the last factory to make the transition, Scania’s production facility in Tucumán, Argentina, began using wind energy. The transition to fossil-free electricity in Scania’s global production facilities corresponds to an annual savings of 33,000 tonnes CO2e.

In order to reduce emissions from the use of its products (scope III), which account for more than 90 percent of Scania’s total emissions, the company is taking a multi-pronged approach which includes biofuels, electrification, as well as improvements in product utilization through tools such as driver training and specification optimization.

For the last several years, Scania has been developing the world’s most efficient combustion powertrain, which will be released in late 2021. This powertrain reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 6-10 percent compared to the current powertrain generation. As with previous engine generations, the new engines are also capable of running on HVO biodiesel, which reduces wheel-to-wheel emissions by 50-90%, depending on the source.

Scania launched its first fully electric bus in 2018 and its first battery electric truck, with a range of 250 km, in 2020. As part of the shift to electrified transport, Scania is building an 18,000-square-metre battery assembly plant in Södertälje, Sweden. In addition, Scania increased its investments in Northvolt in 2020, which is building the world’s greenest battery factory in Sundsvall, Sweden, and which will supply battery cells for Scania vehicles.

Both Scania’s current and future product development are informed by The Pathways Study, published by Scania in 2018, which assesses various ways in which the commercial transport system can be fully fossil free by 2050. The study laid out several possible and commercially viable pathways, looking at the impacts of the growth of battery electric vehicles (BEV), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), as well as vehicles running on biofuels. The conclusions of this study have now been integrated into and inform Scania’s near, medium, and long-term planning.

How does Scania plan to cut its value chain emissions in half before 2030? 

Scania has ambitious emissions reduction targets that have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative and are in line with the Paris Agreement and the 1.5-degree scenario. The company has committed to reducing Scope I and II emissions by 50% and Scope III emissions by 20% by 2025 (compared to 2015 base year).

Scania is planning for a rapid expansion of BEV in the coming years, with a target of 10% electric vehicle sales in Europe by 2025 and at least 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030. Scania has also pledged to launch at least one new electrified solution every year from now on, in addition to already having the broadest range of engines that can run on alternatives to diesel. Along with other European truck manufacturers, Scania has pledged that all new trucks sold by 2040 must be fossil-free in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Scania is continuously assessing possible solutions to drive the shift to a sustainable transport system and, as a result, is testing and evaluating several emerging technologies, such as electric roads, rapid charging infrastructure, and FCEV.

What are Scania’s biggest challenges, and how does Scania plan to address them through radical collaboration –  e.g. as a member of the Exponential Roadmap Initiative and the UN Race To Zero?

To transition away from fossil fuels at a speed consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, there must be rapid growth in both battery production capacity and electrical infrastructure, in addition to an expansion in the availability of biofuels. Thus, this is not something that Scania can do alone. It must be done in collaboration with other actors, both public and private, to ensure the availability of fossil-free fuels, electricity, as well as vehicle components such as green batteries and fossil-free steel. At the same time, heavy commercial transport is no longer a hard-to-abate industry. We have the technology, we know what we need to do, and now we need to join forces and get it done.

Scania recently joined The Climate Pledge, committing to net-zero by 2040.

To find out more about joining the Race to Zero through the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, please click here.