All-electric heavy truck challenges the Arctic climate
Can electrically powered heavy trucks function in 44 °C below zero in northern Sweden? Kaunis Iron is now in collaboration with Vattenfall, Volvo Trucks, ABB and Wist Last & Buss in a pilot project to develop a sustainable logistics system for the future.
Kaunis Iron is seeking to develop the world's most sustainable iron ore. One of the biggest challenges in achieving that goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the heavy transports of the ore, that today take place via trucks in the first stage before trains take over. A study of different alternatives has led to a pilot test with fossil-free electrical power. Now a collaboration cluster has been started to put in place a pilot test on-site in Pajala, north of the Polar circle in Sweden.
- This type of challenge cannot be solved by any single stakeholder. Industrial innovation calls for collaboration between experts. It is therefore pleasing that we have managed to assemble such a strong team to challenge the Arctic climate with electrically powered heavy vehicles, says Lars Wallgren, logistics manager, Kaunis Iron.
- Our fossil-free electricity and services for charging infrastructure, where we install, operate and maintain charging functions, play a self-evident role in the development of electrified transport, and we are very pleased with this cooperation, states Maria Lindberg, Manager, Heavy Electrified Transport at Vattenfall.
Testing in arctic conditions
Volvo Trucks is contributing with its own heavy truck, an all-electric Volvo FMX prototype, to evaluate how battery-electric trucks including charging systems function in Arctic conditions.
- It will be exciting to monitor and evaluate Kaunis Iron’s testing of our all-electric Volvo FMX in an Arctic environment. It will help us assess how battery-electric trucks can be used to increase efficiency and reduce climate impact in extremely cold conditions, says Ebba Bergbom Wallin, Commercial Electromobility Manager, Volvo Trucks Sweden.
Part of the testing includes the charging infrastructure, which must efficiently manage charging the truck in the operational cycle.
-We are pleased to be part of this project to test whether it is feasible to operate heavy vehicles in extreme environments with electricity as the sole power source. ABB’s three high-power chargers use well-proven technology, they provide fast charging and can be used for both heavy vehicles and cars. Together with the project partners we provide important input to minimise the use of fossil fuels and to enable a community with low-carbon dioxide emissions, notes Eva Kvist Östgren, Head of EV Charging Infrastructure at ABB Electrification Sweden.
Wist Last & Buss and Kaunis Iron already had prior to the new accord a multi-year collaboration agreement on ore transport.
- Experience from this unique project to approach carbon dioxide neutrality through the electrification of trucks in the most trying of environments will bring new knowledge to benefit of the entire automotive industry. Our strength as an established Volvo dealer responsible for all of Northern Sweden is our capacity to adjust service solutions to the conditions. We carry out all regular maintenance and repairs of the ore trucks locally in Pajala and Junosuando, in close cooperation with Kaunis Iron’s traffic control division. That in itself ensures the best possible uptime for the vehicles and the test vehicle too will be in the good hands of our highly skilled technicians, says Kajsa Friberg, Sales Manager Region North, Wist Last & Buss.
Facts about the pilot project
- Partners: Kaunis Iron, Vattenfall, Volvo Trucks, ABB and Wist Last & Buss.
- Test period: February 2021.
- Vehicle: Battery electric Volvo FMX.
- Gross weight: 32 tonnes.
- Payload: Approx. 15 tonnes.
- Driveline: All-electric, 400kW, 2-speed gearbox.
- Battery: Lithium-ion with a nominal capacity of 264kWh.
- Chargers: ABB is providing three high-powered chargers, each of 175 kW. The chargers are upgradable to 350 kW and have CCS outlets.
- Vattenfall provides the charging service and support together with ABB.
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