World premiere for SCA’s electric timber truck in the forest

World premiere for SCA’s electric timber truck in the forest

SCA has done 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.

“We wanted to test the truck on a forest road to see how it works – and it went very well”, says Anton Ahlinder, business developer at Industrial Supply, SCA Skog. SCA and Scania’s electric timber truck has been in operation since midsummer 2022 and runs five days a week between Gimonäs timber terminal and SCA’s kraftliner mill in Obbola, a three miles round trip. “The truck has worked very well and our drivers find it quiet and easy to drive”, says Anton.

Forest environment

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”, says Anton and continues: “The whole route was about six miles round trip, twice as long as the normal trips between the terminal and Obbola.”

The electric timber truck drove out to the siding where it was loaded with approximately 44 tons of wood and then it started driving back towards Obbola. A little later in the day, a second run was carried out and then they tried to load a little heavier.

“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, and adds: “It wasn’t many years ago that we started talking about electric operation on timber trucks. At the time it felt far away but now we are already here and it is reality. Development goes fast.”

Reduce climate impact

SCA and Skogforsk, which studies the car’s performance, were satisfied with the trial. For SCA, electrification of heavy transport is an important part of being able to reduce climate impact.

“It is a very important step in our journey towards fossil-free transports. Our forests, forestry and forest products have long created a major climate benefit. We have successfully worked towards freedom from fossil fuels in our industries, therefore we are keen to also find fossil-free solutions for more sustainable heavy truck transports”, says Susanne Rutqvist, who in her role as climate lead acts as SCA’s spokesperson on climate issues, and continues: “This one and only electric timbertruck alone means that SCA can reduce emissions by approx. 55,000 kg of carbon dioxide per year – so there are big benefits for the environment to be made. These test drives with the electric truck show that it is also possible to drive on electricity out in the forest, when there are branches at suitable distances. But 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 we operate.”

During the drive, some measurements were made, for exemple to see the electricity consumption. “It looked very good and we are very satisfied with this world premiere”, concludes Anton Ahlinder.

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